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Yes, Ontario also buys power from Quebec, but Quebec is incentivized to sell to the States as it is more lucrative. From the perspective of the Federal government, it would be more cost-efficient to just build more energy capacity in Ontario then to force Quebec to sell power to Ontario.
Yup, buying power from Quebec is significantly more expensive than generating it here in Ontario. From the paper I posted upthread:
Finally, the cost of electricity continues to be a major concern for Ontarians. Far from being a way to reduce energy costs, importing Quebec hydro is one of the most expensive options for increasing Ontario’s electricity supply. A report by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario compared the Levelized Unit Electricity Cost (LUEC) of different options to build new electricity generation capacity in Ontario. In comparing the options for new capacity, the FAO showed that the LUEC of firm imports from Quebec was among the most expensive options for new capacity, at a cost of $160/MWh for large scale (up to 3,300 MW) firm imports. The FAO report states that the “high cost of imports stems mainly from three factors: competition from US markets, lack of transmission capacity, and a projected reduction of surplus electricity in Quebec in the future.”
As for competition from south of the border, power is not cheap in New England and Hydro-Quebec's export rates would reflect that:
tableau-villes-2022.jpg

(via)
 
Reminds me of a tour I went on for the EB Eddy steam plant in Hull QC in the 90’s. So the technical tour guide tells us that the boiler operator one day wanted to test out the 5MW induction steam boiler 0-100% capacity in 10 second theory. They received a call from Hydro Quebec, um…..could you please not do that again without calling us first. I’m not sure the call went quite like that. Maybe there were a few French swear words in there.
I remember being in the main control room of what was then Great Lakes Power in the Algoma area. They had several hydro sites on a number of river systems supplying their customer in the area, the major one being Algoma Steel. The staffer said to watch the gauges and you could a significant change in the load; he said the plant was rolling steel using their massive presses.

I much enjoyed posts from the_conestoga_guy. I don't know why the Manitoba-Ontario deal didn't materialize but it could have been Ontario balked at the cost of the transmission corridor. At that time there was only a single-circuit 230Kv line tying n/w Ontario to the rest of the province. That was only recently upgraded to a two-circuit corridor. In order to feed any significant amount of power from Manitoba would be extremely costly. It would probably be done now by High Voltage Direct Current, but I'm not sure how mature that technology was back then. Either way, still not cheap.

Any connection with Quebec requires an inverter station as Hydro Quebec in not synchronous with the rest of eastern North America. Basically, an Ac to DC to AC converter. They are a whole lot cheaper than they used to be but still more than stringing some lines across the river.

^All true and valid. My one nitpick is that the more off-grid generation we create, the less the grid will be stressed. Solar and wind and battery do help in this regard.

I'm not disputing the need for a central grid, but the more people who take the stairs, the less stress the elevator experiences.

- Paul

Perhaps you are using the wrong term, but 'off grid' means not tied together. If somebody has their owner solar array at their remote cottage, they are off the grid. If they have one of those feed-in tariff set-ups, they are grid-tied. Less loads on the grid obviously means less load on the grid, but those loads also don't benefit from the grid. When they go down, they're down.
 
Maybe this expansion would also be beneficial to GEXR/CN. Since 2019, they have transported several dimensional loads to Goderich. They travel from Cambridge to Stratford via CN, from there to Goderich via GEXR, and the Bruce arranges transportation via truck from Goderich to Bruce Power. I hope this continues!
 
Nuclear is clean, but it sure ain't green.

Regardless I support expanding nuclear growth 10000000%. Newer designes are far more safer and efficient than old ones, and as more electric cars get on the road we need better ways to power them.
 
Maybe this expansion would also be beneficial to GEXR/CN. Since 2019, they have transported several dimensional loads to Goderich. They travel from Cambridge to Stratford via CN, from there to Goderich via GEXR, and the Bruce arranges transportation via truck from Goderich to Bruce Power. I hope this continues!
I really have a hard time envisioning BWXT going off rail as long as they access, and the CP Waterloo spur isn't going anywhere as long as Toyota is using rail.
 
So looks like Pickering nuclear station will be extended until 2026. I fully agree with the posted article below and see that with the expertise gained at Darlington, Pickering should be even easier to refurbish. I would also add that once the A side is full decommissioned they could plan on building next generation reactors on their footprint for even more green energy.

 
Hey all. Long time lurker, first time poster. Considering how this topic falls into my area of expertise, I thought it would be fun to chime in!

First, as others have mentioned, Ontario is expected to see a large increase in 'base' demand in the coming decades. To meet this increase in demand completely with solar and wind, we would need to invest tremendously in some sort of battery storage. I can say with high confidence that the people in positions of decision making power are not excited by the prospect of relying on a relatively unproven technology. Current commercially-available battery technology also suffers from limited lifecycles before experiencing degradation. This isn't to say that we couldn't meet our raw electrical power demand with renewables alone. Certainly, if we throw enough money at the issue, we could build terawatts of solar and wind and batteries.

The main reason I wanted to opine is to discuss a topic that I never see mentioned, despite it's importance in this equation: electrical grid stability.

I'll use an analogy, because this topic is actually moderately complex to understand without a background in electrical engineering. Think of our electrical grid as an elevator. The motor at the top pulls the elevator cabin smoothly up the shaft at a steady pace. If a 150lb person were to step onto the elevator as it moved past their floor, the cabin itself would feel a 'bump' but the motor would be capable of adjusting and handling the abrupt change in load. But if a ten 250lb linebackers were to jump onto the elevator at once, the motor would fail as it would not be able to meet the demand of the new load.

The reason that the elevator couldn't meet the demand is due to the size of the motor pulling the elevator. If we have a little 5 horsepower motor pulling the cabin, it will be susceptible to moderately large swings in load because the physical size of its rotor does not have enough mass to compensate for the change in load with its own inertia. However, if for some reason the elevator operated with a massive 1000 horsepower motor, then it could handle the change in load because the mass of its huge rotor carries enough inertia to overcome the change in torque at the instant that the people jump onto the elevator.

To apply this to our electrical grid, think of the load on the grid as the elevator cabin, and the generation capacity of the grid as the motor. If we use a whole bunch of tiny 'motors' (solar panels, wind turbines, distributed battery packs) then large swings in electrical demand could cause the generators of power to fail. These large swings in power could be from large industrial consumers of power, though there are ways to mitigate this issue using technologies like cogeneration local to the industrial consumers.

The actual reason we require massive generators on our grid is to compensate for the large changes in load that occur during faults (e.g. a tree falling on a power line). If the grid were comprise solely of solar panels and wind turbines, the massive change in power demand that occurs when a line faults and experiences a short circuit to ground would likely cause the panels and turbines to fault and take themselves offline, thus bringing about a huge grid-wide power outage. However, if we have physically large generators attached to the grid (e.g. natural gas plants, hydro electric, nuclear), the inertia of these large generators could handle the sudden spikes that occur during faults, and the grid would remain stable. Yes, there are technologies like protective relays which isolate faulted power lines, but the sudden spike experienced by the generators cannot be avoided.

This is a very long-winded way of saying that our electrical grid of the future cannot solely rely on renewables. Yes, hydro electric helps with the inertia problem, but Ontario doesn't have sufficient capacity of hydro power to protect against this issue on its own. Therefore, unless some new technology is invented, we will still be relying on either natural gas power (probably not) or nuclear power long into the future. From the perspective of the decision makers at the IESO, there's no 'debate' happening. This is just a matter of fact. Of course, we need to figure out our nuclear waste storage problem. This is pure speculation, but I anticipate that we'll likely get an announcement of a decision on this issue in the next couple of years to coincide with the construction of Bruce C.
Can't utility scale battery installations help provide inertia services? Other storage technologies like pumped hydro and compressed air I think are capable of providing inertia as well. Interested in hearing your thoughts on this.


 
Can't utility scale battery installations help provide inertia services? Other storage technologies like pumped hydro and compressed air I think are capable of providing inertia as well. Interested in hearing your thoughts on this.


To be honest, I'm not thoroughly up-to-date on this tech. Using batteries for regular grid storage is well known, but using them to meet inertia demands seems like a novel concept. The field of power electronics is constantly advancing at a rapid pace, especially since the advent of software controlled devices. So I'm not surprised to see that technology has caught up to this particular issue! I can certainly see this as a viable alternative if it performs as well as it's claimed to.

I do wonder about how the overall capacity of a grid impacts the volume of reserve capacity that these batteries will be required to meet. For instance, a small off grid community may require a smaller amount of reserve battery power to meet the sudden demand of a fault compared to a grid like Ontario's, which itself is interconnected with other regions. With respect to the example in your link, it seems that South Australia's energy grid is localized around Adelaide, with only a couple of interconnections to the regions to its East, so there is likely a more-reasonable economic case to be made for such a battery installation. For Ontario, it may be technically feasible, but economically unrealistic - at least for the medium term.

Thanks for sharing this link. You've given me a new rabbit hole to jump down for the night!
 
The province just released their energy roadmap: https://www.ontario.ca/page/powering-ontarios-growth

I've only skimmed it, but it looks like there's all the new nuclear capacity we know about, lots of battery storage and hydroelectric pumped storage, but not much new large-scale wind or solar.

This graphic of sources of power now is interesting to me. (not installed capacity, but power as generated)

1689105548873.png


This (below) is the installed capacity. Presumably storage solutions will bring the above closer to the below, in respect of solar and wind:

1689105622029.png


There will be an upcoming procurement process for 'green power' which includes the solar/wind categories, but its unclear how many Megawatt's of capacity the province will be seeking and under what terms.
 
This graphic of sources of power now is interesting to me. (not installed capacity, but power as generated)

View attachment 491528

This (below) is the installed capacity. Presumably storage solutions will bring the above closer to the below, in respect of solar and wind:

View attachment 491529

There will be an upcoming procurement process for 'green power' which includes the solar/wind categories, but its unclear how many Megawatt's of capacity the province will be seeking and under what terms.
This is a good graph that highlights what kind of power sources are used for base load power (Nuclear, Hydro), and which are used for peak power supply. Natural gas despite being 25% of installed capacity is only 10% of generation as its only used during peak periods to cover gaps.
 
Not sure how they treat wind and solar in that chart. They typically have a pretty low capacity factor (how much power they actually produce vs their theoretical rated 'nameplate' capacity) due to intermittency of weather conditions. Similarly, gas would tend to have pretty low utilization owing to its role as a provider of peak power.
 
To be honest, I'm not thoroughly up-to-date on this tech. Using batteries for regular grid storage is well known, but using them to meet inertia demands seems like a novel concept. The field of power electronics is constantly advancing at a rapid pace, especially since the advent of software controlled devices. So I'm not surprised to see that technology has caught up to this particular issue! I can certainly see this as a viable alternative if it performs as well as it's claimed to.

I do wonder about how the overall capacity of a grid impacts the volume of reserve capacity that these batteries will be required to meet. For instance, a small off grid community may require a smaller amount of reserve battery power to meet the sudden demand of a fault compared to a grid like Ontario's, which itself is interconnected with other regions. With respect to the example in your link, it seems that South Australia's energy grid is localized around Adelaide, with only a couple of interconnections to the regions to its East, so there is likely a more-reasonable economic case to be made for such a battery installation. For Ontario, it may be technically feasible, but economically unrealistic - at least for the medium term.

Thanks for sharing this link. You've given me a new rabbit hole to jump down for the night!
Thanks for bringing your professional insight to the discussion!

If you want another rabbit hole, you may find this report from a think tank (RethinkX) interesting.

Report: https://www.rethinkx.com/s/Rethinking-Energy-2020-2030.pdf

It seems like Ontario is going with a more conservative approach emphasizing nuclear as our baseload power. I wonder if that plan may get disrupted somewhat if renewables + storage continue to get dramatically cheaper. There are already a lot of stranded assets for fossil fuel generation.

 
To be honest, I'm not thoroughly up-to-date on this tech. Using batteries for regular grid storage is well known, but using them to meet inertia demands seems like a novel concept. The field of power electronics is constantly advancing at a rapid pace, especially since the advent of software controlled devices. So I'm not surprised to see that technology has caught up to this particular issue! I can certainly see this as a viable alternative if it performs as well as it's claimed to.

I do wonder about how the overall capacity of a grid impacts the volume of reserve capacity that these batteries will be required to meet. For instance, a small off grid community may require a smaller amount of reserve battery power to meet the sudden demand of a fault compared to a grid like Ontario's, which itself is interconnected with other regions. With respect to the example in your link, it seems that South Australia's energy grid is localized around Adelaide, with only a couple of interconnections to the regions to its East, so there is likely a more-reasonable economic case to be made for such a battery installation. For Ontario, it may be technically feasible, but economically unrealistic - at least for the medium term.

Thanks for sharing this link. You've given me a new rabbit hole to jump down for the night!
It's hard to my old brain around the numbers but according to the article, South Australia gets ~64% of its energy from renewables. That's pretty impressive and may be leading the country, but most of it is wind and solar. There is comparatively little hydro electric generation in all of Australia outside of Tasmania. With the variabilities of wind and solar, and there desire to move away from coal (still about 50%) I can understand their need for inertial stability. With our large baseload nuclear and hydro generators, I'm not sure we have the same need.
 

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