AESO Ops; ON Admits Mistake; Site C Tension Crack

Keephills#2 (395MW) went offline at 11:00 Friday until 17:19 Sunday; HR Milner (144MW) went offline at 10:09 Saturday; Sundance#6 (401MW) went offline at 12:44 Sunday; Keephills#1 (395MW) went offline at 21:53 Sunday.

Ontario Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault has acknowledged errors on the way the Liberal government implemented its Green Energy plan. Thibeault says the implementation of the Green Energy Act has led to “sub-optimal outcomes” for consumers and to increased prices in electricity for families and businesses in Ontario. In a speech delivered Friday to the Economic Club of Canada, the energy minister indicated that Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff program, or FIT, has resulted in over-manipulation of the province’s energy sector and to the removal of competitive incentives for energy producers. “At its core, Ontario’s renewable energy procurements were absolutely the right policy,” Thibeault said. “However, it was the ‘how’ and not the ‘what’ that drove price considerations. How we implemented those policies led to a number of sub-optimal outcomes.” In the future, Thibeault says the government must move away from setting targets for specific types of energy – such as wind, solar, hydro and nuclear – and should instead focus on implementing a system in which energy producers compete for electricity contracts – regardless of what type of energy they produce. At no time did the government enter into a competitive bidding process for FIT contracts. Not all FIT applications were approved, but once a contract was signed, energy producers were guaranteed a fixed price for the duration of the deal. Interestingly, a section not included in Thibeault’s speech, but contained in an earlier emailed version, seems to indicate that the ministry is also aware of concerns over where in the province certain renewable energy projects were constructed.

The giant Site C dam project has stopped construction of one road after a large ‘tension crack’ appeared on an unstable slope along the slide-prone Peace River banks near Fort St John. BC Hydro officials say the crack is ‘significant’ because it’s almost half a kilometre long. The utility made the information public Friday, six days after the crack was first discovered. Officials say 30 workers on a road crew have been reassigned while the slope’s safety is assessed by geotechnical experts. “No other work has been stopped,” said David Conway, BC Hydro’s community relations manager for the Site C project. “All other construction work is continuing. Conway says the 400-metre-long crack or “stress fracture,” is on the north bank of the Peace River, upstream of the dam construction site, near the Garbage Creek ravine outside Fort St. John. The Peace River valley is an area prone to landslides.

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