Wind Production in Ontario 2010

The numbers are in for wind production in Ontario last year. The IESO had a news release that included the data.

Wind output increased from 2.3 TWh to 2.9 TWh, an increase of 26%. According to the IESO, this was 1.9% of Ontario’s demand, up from 1.6%. Demand increased from 139 to 142 TWh, as the economy recovered from the recession, and mother nature delivered a hotter than normal summer. That is a fairly modest increase of 2.1% – quite low considering the economic recovery. Natural gas provided 20.5 TWh, up from 15.4 TWh. Coal provided 12.6 TWh up from 9.8 TWh, but down from 23.2 TWh in 2008. Nuclear was roughly even. We had a very dry year, so hydroelectricity provided 30.7 TWh, down from 38.1 TWh the year before.

But these numbers don’t tell the whole story. The IESO reports only the numbers from IESO controlled markets. And that means they report only on large facilities that a larger than 10 MW. In the case of nuclear, coal, and natural gas, the numbers include everything. But in the case of waterpower and wind, they are missing many of the small facilities. In the case of wind, I can come up with over 170 MW of installed capacity that is not in these numbers, and I might be missing some projects. This is an additional 15%. So wind production was probably more like 3.3 or 3.4 TWh. And waterpower and solar would add additional amounts not counted in the IESO report.

Wind will continue to grow next year. Some of the projects that started production this year started only late in the year, such as the 100 MW Spence, and Port Alma 3 projects. These will have a full year of production in 2011. And there are other projects underway that will come on line. Wind production looks like it will carry an increasing share of the load in Ontario in the future, reducing our use of fossil below where it would have been.

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