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Thread: NDP to cap consumer power rates

  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by Channing View Post
    Turns out I needed to read more myself. The Delivery cost does have a fixed aspect, but also a variable portion. I retract all my previous concerns.
    Hey, thanks for this.
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  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Renewable is already the cheapest option or well on the way. Costs will only keep dropping. To think we are still burning coal. Welcome to 1930s. Future generations will look back and shake their head at all the hand-wringing over getting past coal.
    Can you provide a source for this re renewables in Alberta? Yes, once you build a wind-mill, its very cheap. But, it never pays back the capital - that's why our power companies have been building gas power plants not renewables in recent years, and its why Trans Alta just shut down a wind farm: (emphasis added)

    The oldest wind power site in Canada has powered down and its turbines will head to the scrapyard with no plans to redevelop until the NDP government makes a move.

    TransAlta Corp. said Tuesday the blades on 57 turbines at its Cowley Ridge facility near Pincher Creek have already been halted and the towers are to be toppled and recycled this spring. It inherited the now-obsolete facility, built in 1993 and 1994, with its $1.6-billion hostile takeover of Calgary-based Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. in 2009.

    “TransAlta is very interested in repowering this site. Unfortunately, right now, it’s not economically feasible,” said Wayne Oliver, operations supervisor for TransAlta’s wind operations in Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod, 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.”
    http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/03/15...dest-in-canada

    That quote sums up renewables - its not economically feasible - not without big government hand outs, or carbon tax costs being passed on to struggling Alberta companies.
    Last edited by moahunter; 29-11-2016 at 09:16 AM.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    I could see that if they are calculating the full life cycle cost, including construction.
    This is exactly how it's calculated. The only way to recoup costs for building generation in Alberta is to sell power to the grid. Dollars for megawatt hours. This is also how the subsidies will work,

    For the first competition, an Indexed Renewable Energy Credit (REC) payment mechanism will be used, where winning bidders are paid a $/MWh payment for renewable attributes that reflects the difference between their bid price and a pool price. This method is preferred as the level of support varies with pool prices, avoiding a situation where windfall gains would flow to the bidder.

    To put that into a picture:

    In other words, the chosen form of assistance for renewable generators is fixed-price purchase agreements. It is not a "subsidy of operating costs", but a guaranteed return on investment.

    I don't think that completely insulating renewable generators from the market price is a good idea. The more of a particular type of renewable generation there is, the bigger the surplus will be when conditions are optimal for it. Maintaining at least some exposure to the resulting low prices, along with the ability to benefit when power is available during shortages (and consequent high prices), would help ensure a better mix of generation types.

  4. #104

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    Keep in mind this is also to be rolled out alongside the switch to an energy & capacity market from the pure energy market we're at now. Whereas now the only way to get money for your generation facility is selling what you make (if the market can bear it), going forward you'll also get funding for having capacity that wasn't dispatched. The graph above (and many of my statements) are speaking to the way the market is now, versus the way it will be by the time the new renewables come on line.
    Last edited by noodle; 29-11-2016 at 10:22 AM. Reason: Added link to AESO
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  5. #105

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    As to the viability of coal I found some interesting information on AESO's website.

    Here's a graph of the pool price over the last 24 hours:



    See that dip? Due to supply & demand the price of power dipped a little bit. How did the operator respond? Same way they always do, by ordering the most pricey (relatively) generation facilities to reduce their output:



    Oh hey, look. That's coal. Right now, before the sky falls due to carbon taxes. Before the switch to a hybrid market. Before anything actually changes, coal is already on the way out, even here in Alberta.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Renewable is already the cheapest option or well on the way. Costs will only keep dropping. To think we are still burning coal. Welcome to 1930s. Future generations will look back and shake their head at all the hand-wringing over getting past coal.
    Can you provide a source for this re renewables in Alberta? Yes, once you build a wind-mill, its very cheap. But, it never pays back the capital - that's why our power companies have been building gas power plants not renewables in recent years, and its why Trans Alta just shut down a wind farm: (emphasis added)

    The oldest wind power site in Canada has powered down and its turbines will head to the scrapyard with no plans to redevelop until the NDP government makes a move.

    TransAlta Corp. said Tuesday the blades on 57 turbines at its Cowley Ridge facility near Pincher Creek have already been halted and the towers are to be toppled and recycled this spring. It inherited the now-obsolete facility, built in 1993 and 1994, with its $1.6-billion hostile takeover of Calgary-based Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. in 2009.

    “TransAlta is very interested in repowering this site. Unfortunately, right now, it’s not economically feasible,” said Wayne Oliver, operations supervisor for TransAlta’s wind operations in Pincher Creek and Fort Macleod, 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.”
    http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/03/15...dest-in-canada

    That quote sums up renewables - its not economically feasible - not without big government hand outs, or carbon tax costs being passed on to struggling Alberta companies.
    The comments from TransAlta should be seen as negotiation, rather than a statement on the actual viability of wind power.

    Here is a source for cost of power by type:

    https://www.lazard.com/media/2390/la...nalysis-90.pdf

    see page 2.

  7. #107
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    Alberta makes changes to electricity pool as it moves away from coal

    The Alberta government is making more changes to how it handles electricity as it transitions out of coal-fired power.

    The province is giving the entity that brokers the electricity system —known as the balancing pool — the ability to borrow money from the province to manage its funding obligations so those costs don’t get passed on to consumers.

    The balancing pool was set up when Alberta deregulated electricity two decades ago, but Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd says that was a flawed approach.

    She says power companies are now returning money-losing power contracts to the balancing pool and any outstanding costs are passed on to ratepayers.

    McCuaig-Boyd says other changes will keep electricity costs low and stable as Alberta shuts down all coal-fired electricity by 2030.

    The province has also hired Robert Bhatia, a former senior civil servant, to be the new chairman of the balancing pool’s board of directors.
    http://globalnews.ca/news/3096340/al...way-from-coal/

  8. #108

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    Good thing the inflation rate has been so low - shows what a decade can do to those on a fixed income.

    "Electricity prices in Ontario also went up much faster than the cost of other goods and services during that period, including food (30%), shelter (20%) and wages (25%)."

    Ontarians slammed by rapidly rising electricity bills

    FIRST POSTED: SATURDAY, JANUARY 07, 2017

    Its 2016 survey found electricity prices for residential customers in Toronto of 17.81 cents per kilowatt/hour and in Ottawa of 16.15 cents per kilowatt/hour.

    This was higher than in Vancouver (10.70); Calgary (10.40); Edmonton (10.37); Regina (14.65); Winnipeg (8.43); Montreal (7.23); Halifax (15.8; Moncton (12.50); Charlottetown (16.02); St. John’s (11.96); Seattle (13.62); Portland (13.94); Chicago (15.19); Nashville (14.2; Houston (11.25) and Miami (11.67).

    However, Toronto’s and Ottawa’s electricity rates were lower than in San Francisco (31.05); Detroit (20.24); Boston (27.69) and New York (29.52).

    From this, it appears Ontario’s residential electricity rates are the highest in Canada — in the surveyed cities — although the Liberals would argue that starting in 2017 they have made prices more competitive by eliminating the 13% HST on them.

    Of equal importance when it comes to pricing, however, is not just the rate itself, but the rate of increase or decrease in electricity prices.

    ...
    "Electricity prices in Ontario also went up much faster than the cost of other goods and services during that period, including food (30%), shelter (20%) and wages (25%)."


    http://www.torontosun.com/2017/01/07...ctricity-bills

  9. #109
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    I read stat about 8 months ago that since 2002 Ontario's electricity has gone up 363%.

  10. #110

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    The electricity may be cheap but I'd guess, that that's about all. How much to get it to the door?


    ANALYSIS
    Record cheap electricity is transforming world energy markets as Canada struggles to keep up: Don Pittis
    Radically new Alberta auction system will play a part in disrupting the global energy market
    By Don Pittis, CBC News Posted: Nov 27, 2017


    "As has so often been the case in the past, Alberta is on the leading edge of an energy experiment that is turning global — and Canadian — markets upside down.

    Within weeks, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), which manages and operates the province's power grid, is expected to announce the results of a bidding process to create "5,000 MW of renewable electricity generation capacity connected to the Alberta grid between now and 2030."

    Pushing prices down

    The power will also come from wind, although prices will be more than double the record prices set in Mexico. But for the first time in Canada, the Alberta agency will use the same market auction system for creating green power that has helped push electricity prices down in Mexico and other places around the world.

    Some experts say the prices set in the Alberta bidding process could be as low as 5 cents per kilowatt hour.


    ...

    "Out-competing coal and gas

    Shaffer says that in order to be effective in an integrated power network with backup systems like gas and hydro, intermittent power sources like wind only have to fall below the price of the cheapest alternative. Carbon pricing gives wind an even greater advantage over gas.

    But with Mexico's under-two-cent power, even without the effects of carbon pricing, the argument from the fossil fuel industry that green power cannot stand alone no longer holds water.

    "It seems like at these prices, and that's what's really amazing about how low we're getting... is that, yeah, it can compete, even though battery technology is expensive these days," says Shaffer. "You can out-compete coal and natural gas at these levels."

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/elec...erta-1.4417616

  11. #111

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    Well the RFPs specify that they have to use the existing D&T infrastructure, so there should be no incremental costs added to bring the new renewables onto the grid.

    As for the existing D&T charges, they're heavily regulated & rates are set based on a performance-based rate structure, with costs contained in a filing that is reviewed & scrutinized over a long period by the government & affected parties/intervenors.

    In Edmonton, distribution is handled by EPCOR & revenues are returned to the city via an annual dividend.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    I read stat about 8 months ago that since 2002 Ontario's electricity has gone up 363%.
    People were choosing heat or food, I mean we aren't a third world country, why is this happening, and happening to people that have complained over and over..?

  13. #113

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    The price of power in Alberta is currently ~25% of what it was in 2002. Consumers had their rates locked at 11 cents, but the actual price was far higher (and paid via riders over the next few years).

    Or, to put it the other way around, power in 2002 was ~400% what it is currently in Alberta.
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  14. #114
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    Yeah, 2001 & 2002 was the era of the Great California Power Crisis. I'm enjoying these mid 1990's power prices as I know it won't last.
    Time spent in the Rockies is never deducted from the rest of your life

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