Wind power getting cheaper in Canada?

Apparently not. The oldest commercial wind power facility in Canada has been shut down and faces demolition after 23 years of transforming brisk southern Alberta breezes into electricity

TransAlta is very interested in repowering this site. Unfortunately, right now, it’s not economically feasible,” Wayne Oliver, operations supervisor for TransAlta’s wind operations in Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod, said in an interview.

“We’re anxiously waiting to see what incentives might come from our new government. . . . Alberta is an open market and the wholesale price when it’s windy is quite low, so there’s just not the return on investment in today’s situation. So, if there is an incentive, we’d jump all over that.”

How agile is that?

Taking a cue from the comments, some pictures of failing windmills.

And there is more.

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32 Responses to Wind power getting cheaper in Canada?

  1. Oh come on

    One of the greatest examples of collective cognitive dissonance is the acceptance that coal-fired power stations must close because they are uneconomic, and the simultaneous acceptance that power bills will rise after coal-fired power stations are closed.

  2. Trader Perth

    Sh-t…I’d stand naked in a windswept paddock for enough ‘incentive’.

  3. Myrddin Seren

    I’d stand naked in a windswept paddock for enough ‘incentive’.

    TP

    Don’t stand naked in this paddock – windpower heading south at terminal velocity.

  4. Dr Fred Lenin

    Hey Myrddin,perhaps it was attacked byAlfred Hitchcocks birds as an act of revenge for the slaughter they have done on the bird . population

  5. OldOzzie

    In the meantime here in Liberal/Turdbull Coalition Party Land of Oz – i.e. “Totally Going Down the Drain”

    Household power and gas prices to soar next month

    Soaring wholesale prices will push up household gas and electricity bills by double digit amounts next month, with retailers warning of steep price rises as Canberra debates energy reforms.

    In NSW, the average household bill will increase by 19.6 per cent of $319.80 a year for electricity and $49.40 for gas.

    Small and medium business bills are due to rise 19.9 per cent or $915.20 for electricity and 10.7 per cent or $1042.6 for gas.

    EnergyAustralia will become the first of the three energy majors to lift prices this year, telling households and businesses in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia that they face rises of up to 19.9 per cent for electricity and up to 13.3 per cent for gas.

    The price rises come as the Coalition debates the recommendations of a report by chief Scientist Alan Finkel to introduce a carbon emissions target to guide investment in new energy systems.

    Professor Finkel has estimated the scheme would save the average household $90 a year within a decade. But it has divided the Coalition, with a quarter of MPs concerned that it does not do enough to secure reliability and lower prices and others wanting a higher target that would allow new coal-fired generation to qualify as low carbon.

    EnergyAustralia chief customer officer Kim Clarke said the cause was higher wholesale costs, which have almost doubled in some states following the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired station, increased demand for gas by liquefied natural gas projects in Queensland and reliability issues with some big generators.

    “This is bad news for families and businesses and absolutely not what they wanted to hear,”

    Ms Clarke said. “Today, getting electricity to our customers costs more right across the energy

    chain.”

    Last month the Full Federal court also handed a victory to distribution companies that had challenged moves by the Australian Energy Regulator to strip billions of dollars from the revenue that transmission and distribution networks can charge. Those charges make up about half of the average electricity bill, with the balance from wholesale prices and retail margins.

    ActewAGL was last week reported to have hiked household electricity bills 18.95 per cent and gas bills by 17.3 per cent. Prices in Victoria are usually changed at the start of the calendar year, with EnergyAustralia hiking household bills by 8.3 per cent.

    A number of smaller Victorian retailers who do not own large scale generation — including Alinta, Powershop and ERM have had to seek an unusual second price hike from customers this month to cope with higher wholesale costs.

    The price hikes are among the first across each state, with Origin Energy, AGL and Energy Australia required to notify changes weeks before the start of the new financial year.

    Ms Clarke said it was critical that government and industry take time to consider the

    recommendations of the Finkel report.

    “No one pretends it’s an easy fix but doing nothing means higher prices and less reliable

    energy for all customers.

    “We think the Finkel Panel’s report is a good, solid blueprint for federal and state governments to work together on the bipartisan, national approach to energy we desperately need.”

    EnergyAustralia’s Queensland customers received the smallest increase, electricity prices up 7.3 per cent or $2.50 a week for households and 11.3 per cent or $10.75 a week. This month the Queensland Government moved to ease the pressure on price hikes by restarting the Swanbank gas-fired turbines and ordering the state’s generators to take less profit out of the market.

    South Australia, which already has the most expensive prices and suffered blackouts from September last year, faces the biggest increases.

    Average household electricity and gas prices for Energy Australia customers in South Australia will jump 19.9 per cent or $390 a year and 9.3 per cent or $80.60 a week respectively. Small and medium size businesses face increases of 19.9 per cent of $967.20 a year for electricity and 13.3 per cent or $936 a year for gas.

    Hikes there come ahead of a series of investments by AGL and the State Government to add new gas-fired generation and improve the reliability of renewable energy sources that provide 42 per cent of the state’s power needs, by adding large-scale batteries to new generation plants.

    In NSW the average household bill will increase by 19.6 per cent of $319.80 a year for electricity and $49.40 for gas.

    For God Sake Liberals Turf Malcolm Turnbull before you go down like the Titanic!

  6. OldOzzie

    Oh come on
    #2413396, posted on June 15, 2017 at 2:59 pm
    One of the greatest examples of collective cognitive dissonance is the acceptance that coal-fired power stations must close because they are uneconomic, and the simultaneous acceptance that power bills will rise after coal-fired power stations are closed.

    The Bleeding Obvious except to Malcolm Turnbull and his Photio’s Acolytes – The Stick Lady and ScMo (let me bend over and give it to me Malcolm) – Friedburg and the other 54 Liberal Bed Wetters

    From the Australian Article Above – Household power and gas prices to soar next month

    EnergyAustralia chief customer officer Kim Clarke said the cause was higher wholesale costs, which have almost doubled in some states following the closure of the Hazelwood coal-fired station, increased demand for gas by liquefied natural gas projects in Queensland and reliability issues with some big generators.

  7. Peewhit

    It looks like our schools have been teaching that cargo cult is only fair and deserved after all for long enough for it to permeate the whole society.

  8. Mother Lode

    “We’re anxiously waiting to see what incentives might come from our new government. . . . “

    We are waiting to see what hand outs we can get to tilt the playing filed back in our favour.

    Turds.

  9. Deplorable

    Trader Perth
    #2413397, posted on June 15, 2017 at 3:00 pm
    Sh-t…I’d stand naked in a windswept paddock for enough ‘incentive’.

    But what happens when your bits fly off😁

  10. gbees

    “We’re anxiously waiting to see what incentives might come from our new government” Read as looking forward to the new government thieving from taxpayers so we can continue to enjoy our lifestyle.

  11. Sparkx

    Those wonderful clips of splodey bird eradicators bring great joy to my heart. More please.

  12. Rabz

    The oldest commercial wind power facility in Canada has been shut down

    I wish the same fate would befall the ALPBC and the gliberal party.

  13. Bruce of Newcastle

    Back in the day Alberta used to sue the crap out of companies who killed birds, like this one:

    Syncrude to pay $3M penalty for duck deaths (2010)

    Oilsands giant Syncrude Canada will pay a $3-million penalty for the deaths of 1,600 ducks in one of its toxic tailings ponds in April 2008.

    That equates to $1,875 per duck. I have no idea how many birds that wind farm has massacred but with 57 turbines you could expect a couple hundred per turbine each year, and twice that many bats.

    Let’s be generous and make it a round 100 birds per turbine per year. That would mean a fine of 57 x 23 x 100 x 1,875 = $245.8 million.

    The Cowley Ridge wind farm was originally 57 x 375 kW turbines, for 21.4 MW. At the end of its life it had a capacity of 16 MW. So if we average it to 18.7 MW and apply the usual 25% average yield the power they’ve produced is:

    18.7 x 0.25 x 8760 x 23 = 941,919 MWh

    At the roughly average Canadian wholesale electricity price of $60/MWh in the last decade that comes to $56.5 million.

    So if they were fined at the same rate as an oil company the fines would be just over 4 times the value of the electricity the wretched things have produced in their whole miserable bird munching lifetime.

    We truly live in a world where some people are more equal than others.

  14. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Perhaps Canada simply has more politicians producing more hot air that has to be used? Maybe their governments are not completely useless?

  15. Ms Dolittle

    Red skies at night,
    Turbine’s alight.

  16. Dr Fred Lenin

    Ms Dolittle like that one . Morning ,Warning ? You are the poet.

  17. Bruce of Newcastle

    Forgive me – I like that calc so much I think I’ll post it on the original WUWT thread too.

  18. herodotus

    Yep, it’s amazing how some lowly lizard, worm or rodent can be parlayed by the “enviro-activists” into delaying a hydro dam or a coal mine, but bird-slicing windmills get a free pass.

    The ABC was on the case today about the stalling of windmills on Lord Howe Island, a world heritage site.
    They accused an objector of just looking after his own place’s outlook! He promptly set them right regarding the proximity of other inhabitants to the proposed monsters.

    That bit from Canada about “anxiously waiting to see what incentives might come from our new government. . . . ” sums their hypocrisy up, together with that of the governments who do these totally irresponsible things, very neatly.

  19. a reader

    Alberta has always been the Canadian home of libertarianism.

  20. Nov

    Bruce- Probably missing something, but where does your 23 multiplicant come from?

  21. Nov

    nmind. Realised it was lifetime as soon as I posted.

  22. Bruce of Newcastle

    Nov – It’s just an indicative calc to illustrate the hypocrisy of the Greens who ignore environmental harm caused by their favoured icons. Also it shows that if such fines were ever applied the wind industry would be wiped out overnight.

  23. Dr Fred Lenin

    The u.n.communists and their crony capitalist comrades ,will never make power that costs 70cents pkh competative without pricing coal power that costs 5cents pkh ,they need punitive penalties on coal .Emphasize that fact to the vote herd ,even thay will know they are being ripped off .

  24. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Actually, Melbourne may have come up with a solution for all. RMIT just announced some new sort of ‘paint’, which has the useful side-effect of turning water vapour into hydrogen and oxygen. It’s in yesterday’s The Australian, page three. I wonder if the Greens will try to have it outlawed for some reason….

  25. Habib

    William Blake had those things sussed in the 18th century. What’s it say about their fans* in the 21st?

    *Fans are actually useful, unlike those bird slicing self-immolating eyesores.

  26. Dr Fred Lenin

    So the great renewable windmills last 23 years ,how long woukd a coalfired station of the same initial cost last _ ? That makes the scam even worse .

  27. Dr Fred Lenin

    Re Nicholas s paint. Is it striped or tartan maybe checked ?

  28. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    The article only mentions white, because one of the elements is titanium oxide. I think it can be mixed into all types of paints, so striped, tartans, and checked are possible.

  29. Bruce of Newcastle

    Nick – It’s been known for ages. Many a grant has been joyously received for work on TiO2 catalysis of H2 generation. TiO2 based transparent solar cells are similar.

    One big problem with it is it basically only works for UV. Visible light gives no H2. (From this paper)

  30. Blind Freddy

    Looks like the missing word is unsustainable and that sustainable now means a lifespan of 23 years.

    Despite this , I fear the percentage of believers will inc rease, at best remain unchanged.

  31. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Bruce, the article mentions a time frame of 5 years, and we should then have a useable technology. They seemed optimistic, so who knows- we might be moving to a hydrogen economy very soon.
    This would also fit in with my idea for a solar-powered hot air air-ship. It could have solar panels, or solar paint! And UV is more prevalent at higher altitudes, so dirigibles would gain a power advantage.

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