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Suggestion for Hydro Companies (This might benefit you)

Hello Canadians,

I sent Hydro Ottawa a message using their contact form. Basically I was suggesting to have a rebate program for EV owners similar to what they are currently offering for new homes for their efficient appliances.

I mentioned that electric vehicles are normally charged during off-peak hours at night, so there is no impact or an overload to the electricity usage of the city. Actually all the extra power generated by Hydro companies is wasted during late night hours since it's really expensive for them to store it or to lower production rate. I also mentioned that the market of electric vehicles is growing 100% every year, so I hope they consider helping EV owners help the environment. (Make sure you contact the conservation group of your Hydro company)

I think you can do the same wherever you're. Even if you are rich and you don't care about a few dollars discounted from your monthly bill, it a matter of principle. I bought a 100% electric vehicle because of what I believe in and I'm sure you believe in the same principle.

Let me know what you think.


Regards,
Khalid
 
I'm on board with this. Some power companies are researching stored power, i.e. using flywheels or batteries from crashed hybrids or electric cars to store excess energy. It could work well for solar systems especially since for those, there is no energy generated at night.

Solar City also has an option to store energy using batteries. It's called DemandLogic. More info is at SolarCity DemandLogic
 
Actually all the extra power generated by Hydro companies is wasted during late night hours since it's really expensive for them to store it or to lower production rate.

This is a myth.

Energy production = energy usage, by definition. It doesn't just vanish. If what you're suggesting were the case, there would have to be some load somewhere deliberately introduced to waste energy. I assure you that they do not do that. Why would they do that when they can simply not run water through a turbine or, if needed, sell the power to someone else on the grid for something like $30/MWh?

Essentially in the grid the turbine generating the electricity is connected to the load (in houses, factories, office towers, whatever). If demand varies and is not matched by changes in production, the frequency (speed with which the turbine turns) varies. This is, as I say, not something they allow to happen. They have plenty of sources they can adjust so that the frequency stays very close to 60 Hz. They employ a lot of people to manage the resources to make that possible.

Check out http://www.ieso.ca if you want to see this in Ontario. http://www.ieso.ca/Pages/Power-Data/default.aspx for more detail. Click on "Supply" to see a nice pretty graph that illustrates the base load provided by nuclear and the variability provided mainly by hydro. (It's pretty easy to adjust the flow of water into turbines at a hydroelectric dam). Note that Ontario exports power more than it imports. For a good summary, see (e.g.) http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/pubs/marketReports/weekly/20140422.pdf

If anyone still doesn't believe me, try National Grid | Fully Charged - YouTube
Note the focus on maintaining the system frequency. (Except that in the UK the standard is 50 Hz, not 60 Hz).
 

Doug_G

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Apr 2, 2010
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Ottawa, Canada
I think there's a little terminology mixup going on here. iKhalid didn't mean "hydro power". The utility here is known as Ontario Hydro, because historically power was generated mainly from hydro resources. These days they get more power from nuclear than actual hydro power.

PoweredByRain is correct however that power mostly isn't "wasted" at night - grid input has to always balance grid output. However Ontario Hydro does have a balancing problem at night. Hydro facilities can be ramped down easily, but the same is not true of nuclear plants. They have to get rid of this "base load" power if there is more generation online than demand.

There is one private nuclear facility in Ontario, and it has a steam bypass capability. The utility often has to pay them to waste their power via the steam bypass. That literally is wasted power.

Also at night they sell power to the nearby US utilities at a negative price in order to balance the grid. The US utilities don't actually want or need the power, so Ontario is paying for a balancing service. This isn't a waste of power but it certainly is an economic waste.

So iKhalid is correct that the Ontario utility would love nothing better than having gobs of EVs charging every night, as it will save them a substantial amount of money, while simultaneously providing revenue.
 
There is one private nuclear facility in Ontario, and it has a steam bypass capability. The utility often has to pay them to waste their power via the steam bypass.

[..]

So iKhalid is correct that the Ontario utility would love nothing better than having gobs of EVs charging every night, as it will save them a substantial amount of money, while simultaneously providing revenue.

Did you look at the supply graph I referenced? http://www.ieso.ca/Pages/Power-Data/default.aspx#supply The nuclear generation (9.5 GW) is well below the lowest demand (just under 11 GW). The nuclear base load does not vary, according to that graph and those figures (found elsewhere at the IESO site).

See also http://www.ieso.ca/Pages/Ontario's-Power-System/Supply-Mix/default.aspx

"Nuclear provides baseload power in Ontario. By the nature of their design, Ontario's nuclear units have a limited ability to ramp up and down their output on demand. They typically operate 24 hours a day at relatively the same output level. Other generation types, with greater flexibility are used to meet the remaining daily demand for electricity."

Or how about http://www.ieso.ca/Pages/Power-Data/Demand.aspx

"Ontario's supply and demand of electricity must be kept in balance every minute of the day. The IESO forecasts hourly demand to ensure that sufficient generation will be available to meet that peak."

What proof do you have that there is power "wasted", ever? If there is, then how much, and what are the costs? Please provide some data or references, rather than just assertions. I'm willing to be proven wrong, but everything I see is contrary to this comment that there is "wasted energy" that costs money.

The reason utilities would like EVs charging at night (and time-of-use billing) has nothing to do with wasted energy, it has to do with smoothing out the peak.

- - - Updated - - -

By the way, I was thinking of B.C. when I suggested hydro power was a major variable source. In B.C. it's generally a dam and a huge reservoir. In Ontario it's more often "run of river". Ontario's variable source is primarily natural gas, it looks like.

I suppose you could view any water going down a spillway as "wasted energy", but there isn't a cost associated with that. It's just a resource that wasn't used.
 

ZsoZso

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 24, 2014
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Mount-island
Just a minor note about the Ontario power mix. The data shown on that site only contains the industrial producers and ignores the residential microFIT projects, which includes all the solar power generation installed on house roofs. See microFIT Program | Ontario Power Authority for details on that, it currently includes ~15MW with a projected target of 65MW by the end of 2014. However this is not measured or reported on the ieso.ca site I checked the detailed reports and I see no entry corresponding to microFIT projects. My guess is that the microFIT production simply does not show up because what is generated is used up in the neighborhood right away, i.e. it cancels out some of the demand that they measure.
 

Doug_G

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Apr 2, 2010
17,888
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Ottawa, Canada
The nuclear generation (9.5 GW) is well below the lowest demand (just under 11 GW). The nuclear base load does not vary, according to that graph and those figures (found elsewhere at the IESO site).

Bruce Nuclear Generating Station - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

During the Northeast Blackout of 2003 three Bruce B units were able to continue running at 60% reactor power and at 0% grid electrical power. They were able to do so for hours, because they had steam bypass systems that were designed to de-couple the reactor output from the generator electrical output.

Exclusive: Ontario spending millions to halt surplus electricity production | CTV Toronto News

As Ontario experiences a record year for surplus electricity production, the province is no longer paying the United States to take the extra power off the grid, CTV Toronto has learned. Ontario regularly produces a glut of electricity, and in the past, the province has paid American states and Quebec to alleviate the system.

CTV Toronto’s Paul Bliss has learned that the privately-owned Bruce Power plant in Tiverton, Ont., is periodically asked to shut down one of its massive reactors, or alternatively, vent steam instead of producing electricity. When that happens, the province must still pay the plant for the down time.

Terry Young, vice-president at the Independent Electricity System Operator, says Ontario’s complex power grid has to find a way to manage massive amounts of extra electricity. He says the Bruce plant is reliable and helps Ontario cope with power surplus.

“Ontario has become a net exporter of electricity,” Young told CTV News. “We’re in a better situation today than we were six, seven or eight years ago when we were relying on our neighbours.”

Bruce Power has turned five units off at different times this year to cut supply for a total down time of 40 days. Since the plant is paid about $1 million per day, it cost Ontario $40 million for reactors to idle.

When the steam bypass is running, the reactor is generating at 60% of capacity, and all the remaining power is being released as heat into the atmosphere. That is clearly wasted power.
 
Exclusive: Ontario spending millions to halt surplus electricity production | CTV Toronto News



When the steam bypass is running, the reactor is generating at 60% of capacity, and all the remaining power is being released as heat into the atmosphere. That is clearly wasted power.

Wild. :)

Thank you for the reference. The IESO figures supply and demand figures suggested otherwise, but as I said I am willing to be proven wrong.

It's odd that with all the coal-fired generation in the United States there isn't some way to export the power to a jurisdiction which can just turn down their coal burning.

I wonder how many other jurisdictions do something like this. I don't think this goes on in jurisdictions that burn a lot of coal - it would be insane to keep shovelling coal in when the demand isn't there.

B.C. is almost entirely hydroelectric. There is a natural buffering ability when you have a kilometres-long reservoir of water.
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Global Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,888
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Ottawa, Canada
It's odd that with all the coal-fired generation in the United States there isn't some way to export the power to a jurisdiction which can just turn down their coal burning.

From what I understand, the large coal plants are also base load. They can't be ramped up quickly enough. I recall that the old coal plant on the shores of Lake Ontario had a bunch of gas turbines (jet engines) to boost start it when it was needed.

B.C. is almost entirely hydroelectric. There is a natural buffering ability when you have a kilometres-long reservoir of water.

Ontario has quite a bit of hydro, but not enough apparently to balance the load anymore. I gather that wind power has had a negative effect on grid balancing, because the province promised to always buy their power, and it appears they produce a lot at night when we don't need it. Yes, our government is stupid.

Quebec has gobs of the stuff, but I gather there aren't enough interconnects between Ontario and Quebec for large-scale power sharing. They sell much of their power to the northern US.

There are places in the USA where they have trouble turning off hydro also, when they have an excess of water in the reservoir. Apparently no one thought to include a spillway in the plant design...
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
11,781
9,936
Maine
It's odd that with all the coal-fired generation in the United States there isn't some way to export the power to a jurisdiction which can just turn down their coal burning.

I wonder how many other jurisdictions do something like this. I don't think this goes on in jurisdictions that burn a lot of coal - it would be insane to keep shovelling coal in when the demand isn't there.

B.C. is almost entirely hydroelectric. There is a natural buffering ability when you have a kilometres-long reservoir of water.

In terms of economics coal and nuclear should be run 24/7. They're both capital intensive to build but cheap to fuel.
 

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