Wind farms in Ontario larger than 20 MW operated at an hourly capacity factor as low as 0.18% during the record breaking hot weather of May 26, 2010. The lowest point of production occurred during the hour starting at 10 am (EDST) when load was rising rapidly towards its peak. Although wind output hit a high hourly capacity factor for the day of 21.6%, that production did not occur until the hour starting at 10 pm, while load was falling.
Although production was slightly higher on May 27th, the minimum daily output — only 3.4% capacity factor — again occurred during the key morning ramp period.
This instance helps to illustrate the ignorance of those who claim that wind power can help replace coal-fired generating capacity in Ontario.
My question is: Why do real time results not seem to have any bearing on energy policy?
One has to wonder if the poor performance of wind has already been factored in, and it is a means to an end: delay nuclear and force a build up of natural gas capacity. Once Ontario is heavily reliant on natural gas, the price rises and everyone must conserve energy due to cost. Expanding government regulation, raising energy prices and forcing a reduction in consumption sound like the global green agenda. The same plan has been in place in California and Spain, and we’ve seen how well that worked out. The entire situation is perverse, and people are getting really fed up with this nonsense.