Peaker plant in King a bad decision

The more I learn about electricity market, the more I am convinced that building a 400 MW gas fired generator in the Holland Marsh is a bad deal for Ontarians.  It is certainly a bad deal for the farmers who are growing our food there.  And it is a terrible deal for those who chose to live in the area because it was rural and allegedly protected by the Greenbelt.

For Ontarians, I have always doubted the wisdom of building a plant which is less than 35% efficient (i.e. 65% of the natural gas is wasted.) Why would you spend $350 million to waste that much gas?  What would you select a location which is not serviced by gas and requires a new 17 KM pipeline to service it with a price tag of about $150 million.  And now, as of mid January 2011, we are being told that Ontario’s surplus of electricity is so great that we are paying other jurisdictions to take it.  One energy consultant estimates that Ontario customers paid $52.8 million in December 2010 to subsidize electricity users in the USA and Quebec!

I know that there are peaks and valleys in demand and supply.  But it sounds like December, although extreme, may be directionally indicative of the next couple years.  The Independent Electricity Supply Operator (IESO) is predicting that there will be a surplus of electricity for the next three years.

Being awash in electricity and actually paying other jurisdictions to take it (as was done January 1, 2011 when we paid $1 million to USA and Quebec) is bad news.  It is outrageous when at the same time our Government insists that there is no time to re-consider the wisdom of the OPA to build a generator in the Holland Marsh.

If for no other reason than this, Ontario’s Ombudsman should investigate the decision to build a generator in this location.  It is a very poor decision.

At its January 31, 2010 meeting, Council passed a resolution and letter to the Ombudsman, lead by Councillor Avia Eeek, to ask just that.  Read both here.

2 Responses to “ “Peaker plant in King a bad decision”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is frightening when established means of communication with a government fail. I am fearful of any government which refuses to listen to the people who elected them as representaives.

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