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Windpower Case Study in Ontario (Part 1: Coal-fired generation not displaced)

By William Palmer -- February 29, 2012

[Editor Note: This case study of Ontario, Canada (one of the least emissions-producing electricity systems in the world) by a veteran energy engineer uses available data to shed light on unfounded claims about industrial wind turbines. Some aspects of the Ontario situation are unique, but many considerations are applicable to all countries/states/provinces. Part II concludes this case study tomorrow.]

“Even while wind was at peak operation, the coal generators served as backup (at low load) to be able to respond rapidly to the anticipated, and actual, drop in wind output that occurred just hours later.”

It has been claimed that industrial wind turbines allow Ontario to shut down coal-fired electrical generating stations. But the facts reveal this to be a myth.

The following graph shows how Ontario has generated its electricity from 1988 to 2011.…