Comedy Night at the OEB

The evolution of electricity policy is sometimes funny.  Today, the Ontario Energy Board announced some prospective changes to the Distribution System Code.  George Orwell must work at the OEB.

The existing code has an expedited connection process for small generators under 10 kW.  This would be a size typical of a home wind or solar installation.  And it makes sense to have an expedited process for these projects, as their impact on the system is negligible.

Today, the OEB announces that their definition of small generators will be increased to 250 kW.  For everything except wind, which will remain at 10 kW.  Apparently the impact of wind on the system is far greater than the impact of anything else.  What seems to be driving this is the desire of the agriculture sector to get some on farm biogas facilities going, to both produce electricity.  Producing electricity from farm waste, especially manure, can go a long way to reducing waste disposal problems on farms.  Fine.  But now for the funny part.

Instead of just saying that biogas, solar and hydro have expedited connection process, they said “Micro embedded generation facility means either (a) an embedded generation facility with a …rated capacity of 10 kW or less; or (b) an embedded generation facility with a … rated capacity of 250 kW or less that is powered by a non-intermittent generation technology.”

Then they say “non-intermittent generation technology means solar, water, biomass/biofuel or fuel cell.”

So there you have it.  Solar is now a non-intermittent generation technology.  The sun always shines in Ontario.  There are no dry seasons.  And farm waste is continous and constant at all times of the year.  It is only the wind that is inconsistent and intermittent.

It is good to know that the rest of the technologies are so darned reliable.  I wear my sunglasses at night….

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