Wind Power Companies Cashing In Even When Turbines Stand Idle

by Michael Jiggins, written September 12, 2013

WYNNE GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO SPIN ITS WHEELS ON GREEN ENERGY

(QUEEN’S PARK) – The Wynne government’s green energy folly reached a new low this week when it was revealed wind turbine companies are being paid not to produce power, said Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark.

“This sums up what a debacle and an utter failure the McGuinty-Wynne energy policies have been,” said Clark. “If the mess they’ve made of the province’s electricity sector weren’t sending people’s hydro bills through the roof and costing us good-paying jobs, it would be a joke.”

Through a process known as “dispatching,” the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) now has the ability to turn wind generation on and off, but Clark noted the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has confirmed producers will be paid even when turbine blades stop spinning.

“Remember, these turbines were forced onto communities against their will. The expensive subsidies paid to renewable power generators are crippling our economy and wind power is unreliable and unavailable when demand is highest,” said Clark .

“Now, on top of all of those problems, we find out that producers will profit even when their turbines are idle.”

Clark said affordable energy is essential if we’re going to rebuild Ontario ’s economy, particularly the manufacturing sector, and he again called on the government to scrap the Green Energy Act.

“Soaring electricity rates make it harder for Ontario manufacturers, including those in Leeds-Grenville, to compete. Continuing these policies is nothing short of economic suicide,” stressed Clark . “Affordable energy must be a top priority, but it isn’t for this government.”

Earlier this year, Clark met with representatives from area industries to talk about the negative impact of soaring energy rates.

“Businesses from Gananoque to Cardinal, from Brockville to Kemptville are being contacted regularly by New York State to move their businesses to the other side of the St. Lawrence River . And cheaper power is a prime message in those enticements,” said Clark.

The situation has grown even worse since those meetings, explained Clark , as the Global Adjustment surcharge – where expensive renewable energy subsidies and the cost of the gas plants cancellation are recovered – nearly doubled to 8.72 cents per kilowatt hour in September.

“The Auditor General and several independent studies of the government’s green energy policies have come to the same conclusion: it’s a costly failure,” said Clark . “Paying someone for nothing is just more evidence that this government has no idea what it’s doing.”

In contrast, Ontario PCs have outlined a detailed affordable energy plan in a Paths to Prosperity discussion paper released last year. It can be viewed at ontariopc.com/policy .

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