Attached are searchable and text versions of the material originally released as an unsearchable image-only PFD produced by the McGuinty government on September 24 in response to the order of the Speaker of the Ontario Legislature. The material provided here all originated with the Ontario Power Authority and was labeled as “privileged”.
The original version of this file is 15,194 pages.
There are many things we might learn from this material. Preliminary analysis of some of the other released files is already starting to expose the real long term energy plan for Ontario, which appears to be quite different than the official version. (The original LTEP, which was written with not particularly sharp crayons, is available here.)
Here is an example of an internal government Q&A dating back to the Oakville plant cancellation in October 2010. The comment was drafted by Rick Jennings of the Ministry of Energy and addresses the new transmission requirements caused by the Oakville power plant cancellation:
Q1. How much will this new transmission line cost?
The Ontario Power Authority has provided us with an estimate that the transmission investment required would be in the order $200 million. The solution would require a combination of 3 transmission projects, including the building of new lines and new station equipment. It is worth noting that the new transmission alternative would still require new generation to be built at another location capable of delivering power to the Greater Toronto Area. (This text is slightly edited for character identification errors from the scanned text version of the Ministry of Energy September 24th release labeled “Energy Mississauga”.)
The quoted section adds substantial new information to the public debate. We have known for some time that the estimated cost of replacement transmission was $200 million. What we didn’t know is that that $200 million requires a new gas fired plant too and that these estimates pre-dated the decision to also move the Greenfield South plant in Mississauga. The costs of the transmission implications of the gas plant move are therefore much higher than previously revealed.
Another fertile area of investigation are the cost implications for consumers of gas management. In previous posts by Bruce Sharp on this site, he provided a discussion of the drastic implications for consumers arising when the government agreed to shift the cost responsibility that originally rested with TransCanada Energy for gas management over to the shoulders of consumers. Bruce provides a short description of what gas management costs relate to here.
Another interesting area for investigation is the connection between the government’s gas strategy and its green energy strategy. Right near the beginning the “SWGTA Privileged” document, there is an admission from the OPA that gas plants are needed to support intermittent renewable generation. The costs of the gas strategy related directly to the cost of green energy.
Some people have attached significance to the McGuinty government’s use of code words for different electricity projects. I don’t think the use of code titles for projects necessarily reflects improper intentions, but identifying these code words might help with the search process.
If you are reviewing these documents, please report your findings related to the transmission implications of the government’s decisions to move the power plants, the transfer in costs for gas management, what these internal documents tell us about the government’s real long term energy plan, the connection between gas and renewables, code words, key players, and anything else that looks interesting.
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