This paper was written in 2004.
It looks at all options for replacement of coal. This 31 page document shows how wrong the Liberal govt. is when it comes to electrical generation in Ontario. If you really want high prices and an unstable grid then embrace the wind. If you want a cost effective reliable grid then get active. I thank Mr. Rogers for his work and allowing me to share it with you.
Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The low intensity of wind power results in a requirement for many large wind turbines to generate any significant power. Furthermore, these turbines have to be well-spaced to ensure
that wake effects on adjacent turbines do not reduce blade efficiency, and thus power generation, significantly. Based on data from different sources, the power-to-area intensity for
wind farms varies from about 2.8 MW/km2 to about 5.0 MW/km2 [32, 33, 34]. Therefore, to replace the capacity of the OPG coal plants by wind power plants, assuming an optimistic
power intensity of 4 MW/km2, would require a total area of about 1,900 sq.km., about three times the size of metropolitan Toronto. The cost and difficulty of assembling adequate wind
sites over such an area in southern Ontario would be prohibitive, even though some of the required area would also still be usable for agricultural purposes. In addition, the total electricity produced annually by this capacity would be considerably less than that produced by the coal-fired plants because of the low annual capacity factors of the wind plants. From the above data on the current installed capacity and energy production of wind power plants in Ontario, the annual capacity factor of these plants is 18.7%, compared to about 60% to 65% for
the coal-fired plants. An ACF of 18.7% is on the low side of the range of ACFs for existing
wind farms, 20% to 30% . Assuming an average ACF of 25%, replacing the coal-fired plants by the same capacity of wind-fired plants would result in the generation of only about
40% of the electricity produced in a year by the coal-fired plants. Furthermore, unlike power from the coal-fired plants, power from the wind plants would not be available on demand to
meet varying loads, but would depend on the variability of the wind. Since there is no practical means of storing electricity directly on a large scale, building additional wind plants to
overcome this intermittency would not be helpful12.
In effect, wind plants cannot really replace the coal-fired plants, since they cannot meet the requirements of intermediate-load service, that is, being available on demand to meet varying
loads over a day or other period. Similarly, wind plants cannot be used for base-load to provide continuous power or for peaking plants to provide peak power on demand. Wind generation is
only useful for now as displacement energy, being accepted by the grid, when it is available, in preference to energy from conventional plants whose operating costs at that time are greater
than those of the wind energy plants .
It is concluded that wind energy is not a realistic option to replace the coal-fired plants and will continue to play only a very minor role in electricity generation in Ontario.
For the full text of his paper