Gas Busters Part 21: Gas Busters in the News

There are two columns in the National Post today addressing Gas Busters.

One is Terence Corcoran’s survey of recent setbacks for electricity consumers. These setbacks include Standard & Poor’s downgrade of OPG November 27th, the WTO ruling against the Green Energy Act, and the gas plant cancellations in Oakville and Mississauga.

Jan Carr, who is formerly CEO of the Ontario Power Authority, director of several energy companies and currently active as a consultant, provides a perspective on the potential costs of the gas plant relocations. Carr’s analysis is extremely solid. One difference between my cost assessment and Carr’s relates to transmission. Carr notes:

And finally, of course, there remains the problem of a weak electricity supply in the southwestern part of the Greater Toronto Area, where the Oakville and Mississauga plants were to be located. Delivering replacement supply capacity into that area will add yet more to electricity bills. The most probable solution would be to increase the capacity of existing transmission lines and transformer stations, which the OPA has previously quoted as costing $200-million.

The $200 million estimate I have seen from the OPA with respect to the transmission upgrade cost dated from a period prior to the decision to move the Mississauga generator and only related to the movement of the Oakville generator. The OPA’s $200 million estimate assumed the Mississauga plant would be fully operational. With both plants now gone, the transmission implications are likely to be much more costly than just $200 million.