Surplus Baseload Generation

In an earlier post, Emissions Savings Details, down in the “And Worser” section, I mentioned that between the not-entirely-dispatchable CHP plants and the entirely-not-dispatchable wind projects, Ontario has so much surplus generation at night that they end up paying other people to take it off their hands.  This is called Surplus Baseload Generation, and as the number of CHP and wind generators continues to grow in Ontario’s attempt to shut down its last coal generators, it is becoming more common.  Ontario’s IESO, the grid operator, now publishes a daily report that forecasts how big these surpluses will be.  Take a look at a recent report – these numbers are BIG, and they seem to occur almost every night, at least during low-usage times of the year.

Here’s a link that should point you to the IESO’s latest estimate.  If you’d like some additional details on the operation of Ontario’s grid (and I’m sure it mirrors many other grids) Donald Jones, a professional engineer who retired from the nuclear energy field, wrote up a nice explanation that isn’t too hard to follow.

Original Link, compliments of Wind Concerns Ontario

Backup Link.

2 thoughts on “Surplus Baseload Generation”

  1. No you can’t take Aluminum smelters on and off like that. Actually the European grid is quite well connected, and up until now we almost always have been able to dump the surplus to some neighbor. But we’re reaching the very limits with the German solar surplus, like last may, the 25. They have been boasting their production on that day, but actually the whole European grid was at a verge of breaking.
    Spain also may have had some very significant problem although that didn’t make news.

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