Ontario energy experts deeply concerned about secret Quebec-Ontario energy deal

Ontario’s independent energy experts and industry leaders are blasting Kathleen Wynne’s secret energy negotiations with Quebec. Here’s what they have had to say so far:

“I certainly see Quebec’s interests reflected in the deal. Ontario’s interests in this are not so clear.  This is not a deal that advances Ontario’s emission reduction targets. It will increase costs to the ratepayer and hurt Ontario’s economy.   All of the costs and risks seem to fall on Ontario…The biggest mistakes come when politicians make big decisions without public, transparent and evidence-based scrutiny. Ontario’s electricity consumers are already reeling from the impact of a politicized policy environment.  To avoid making the same mistakes again the government ought to stop negotiating its own power deals and revert to long-term, evidence-based planning.” 

-       The Society of Energy Professionals 

“Ontario already has a surplus of energy, so it’s very difficult to see how this deal or any other sole-source deal with Quebec could benefit the province and its ratepayers… Simply put, it would be a wealth transfer to Quebec at the expense both of Ontario customers and Ontario-based companies and their employees.” 

-       Association of Power Producers of Ontario, News Release, August 8, 2017 

“The OEA is disappointed that detailed discussions are happening behind closed doors with Hydro-Québec on new electricity capacity for Ontario…This procurement process lacks transparency, contradicts the government’s announced direction to move to a ‘technology agnostic capacity auction’ for purchasing future capacity, and seriously undermines the IESO’s Market Renewal initiative. If this particular deal is pursued, Ontarians will not get the benefit of competition to ensure it is the best of all possible options for the province, and companies who have invested in Ontario and have employees here will not get the opportunity to provide alternatives. Competitive processes should be used for any new significant system capacity in Ontario.” 

Ontario Energy Association

“Ontario’s existing waterpower facilities are a reliable, cost-effective and long-lasting source of electricity in this province…We should be looking at all opportunities to maximize production from these facilities as a first priority.”

Ontario Waterpower Association

“The proposal that’s in front of us is a little tough to understand, because it looks like Ontario would be buying energy with no guarantee of delivery of power when we need it.” 

“It’s way more expensive than it would cost to get a little bit more energy – or even a lot more energy – out of our existing underutilized natural gas fired generating stations. We’ve got thousands of megawatts of generating stations that sit around idle almost all the time.”

“Ontario has a vast surplus of power. They’re talking about this 8 TWh of energy transfer into Ontario well that’s about as much power as we wasted last year – much of it from our own hydroelectric facilities.”

“We should have a competitive process here. Ontario should not be doing behind closed doors, politically-motivated, politically managed power deals. We’ve done a lot of that in the past, and Ontario ratepayers have a sense for how that’s really worked out.”

-       Tom Adams, Independent Energy Expert, 580 CFRA, August 8, 2017