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I'm not much of a NIMBY, and certainly not an activist, but want to take a moment to raise awareness of something that seems like a Really Bad Idea.

In a nutshell, a large corporation has planned a pumped storage installation on an untouched stretch of Georgian Bay near the Bruce Peninsula.  Federal land owned by Department of National Defense and used for land forces training, the shoreline is quite spectacular.  Once its destroyed, its gone forever.

Pumped Storage dates back to the 1930s, and is basically pumping water uphill to a storage pond, then releasing it to run back downhill and generate hydro electric power.  This plant will be a massive 1000 megawatts,  and to generate that much power, they'll burn 1300 megawatts pumping it uphill.   The money is made by buying power off-peak when its cheap, to do the pumping.  Then selling it at peak hours, when they release it to run through the turbines.   Its not "green" energy... that 1300 megawatts to pump the water uphill comes from the grid and all sources powering it, including gas powered generating plants.

This plant will be on the scale of the Ludington plant on Lake Michigan (google it) which has proven famously efficient at killing fish by the millions as they get chopped up in the turbines.   The chopped up biomass goes back into the lake of course...     The site chosen on Georgian Bay has a clay bottom, and all that churned up clay will hang in suspension for ages.  There goes the clear water that the area is known for.

So, if like me, you think this is a bad idea - please add your name to the petition.  I hope its not a futile effort - there are literally billions of dollars at play here.  But maybe the politicians will listen.    Its old technology.  It will destroy a beautiful little corner of the earth.

https://www.change.org/p/federal-save-georgian-bay-fe02a3a7-9e1f-438d-91a7-258324ae1fdd

 

Photo taken a couple weeks ago at Ludington... check out the plume from the discharge from the turbines.

ludington 2019.jpg

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What a stupid idea - a 30% net power cost just to smooth out some of the peaks & valleys of demand?

Oh, and a few people will make a lot of money - lets not forget that part.

I'm sure Ford and that bunch will be all in favour of it.

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That would be sad. There was fine smallmouth bass fishing out there back in the day. The Bruce Trail runs along that corridor and it is a beautiful corridor. The scars from the powerlines will be a blight as well through that beautiful country.

I first saw the Bruce after the morning of a 14 hour passage from Parry Sound on a Northern 25 back in the day. The clear water was magical compared to the algae water of some areas and the rock formations including Flower Pot Islands are beautiful. We saw hikers of the trail from our boat, the bright coloured packs showing vividly against the rock.

Not hard to see the off peak logic, why not put it down by the CN Twer for all to admire...

 

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

What a stupid idea - a 30% net power cost just to smooth out some of the peaks & valleys of demand?

Are they planning to add a lot of solar or wind into the mix? The Change dot org petition doesn't say so, but they are advocating rather than reporting. The details always matter and I don't have them. So, I'm not opining on the wisdom of this specific system. However, storage becomes a requirement when using renewable power sources. In theory, pumped hydro can be competitive with the alternative storage technologies available today.

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So pretty much the same sort of deal as Banks Lake at the Grand Coulee - a pretty sweet spot for hobie cats and other trailer sailors!  

So, speaking as someone who wasted his life getting a Ph.D., (when uninformed whining is so much cheaper and more profitable) a good rule of thumb is, “Activists are always wrong.” A fairly serious amount of data is required to flip the switch the other way.  

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7 hours ago, weightless said:

Are they planning to add a lot of solar or wind into the mix? The Change dot org petition doesn't say so, but they are advocating rather than reporting. The details always matter and I don't have them. So, I'm not opining on the wisdom of this specific system. However, storage becomes a requirement when using renewable power sources. In theory, pumped hydro can be competitive with the alternative storage technologies available today.

This is simply about making money for Trans Canada Energy (formerly Trans Canada Pipelines) with the proposed pumped storage facility.   Not adding any net new energy to the grid.

There are pumped storage facilities that make sense with much less environmental cost, such as the closed loop systems where they use a worked out quarry as the lower holding pond, and pump it up to a pond above.     Using the bay in an open loop system is pretty ugly in terms of potential harm.

 

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Just imagine if we didn't have all the wind and solar in the province causing unpredictable momentary spikes and dips in production of electricity, we wouldn't need anything like this.

To be clear, I am not suggesting this is the right thing to do in this place at this time, but as a technique it is often called out by renewable supports as exactly what needs to be done to help get renewables working properly. It's too bad it'll never find a place to happen because everyone objects to everything all the time. One more proof of the law of unintended consequences. I dare you to find one quarry in the province that the greens would let you do this too without running you through the ringer. It's almost certain they would find a frog living in the quarry that would of course make any such change to the quarry catastrophic and thus verboten.

Perhaps we should have way more nuclear so we don't have to come up with scheme's like this one. That way base load is always covered with zero emissions energy production, close to where it's needed in the GTA in particular. There was a time, not long ago, when we were quite good at nuclear energy production. Too bad we let that skill set slide so badly or we wouldn't need those upright bird choppers and these water park fish mulchers to dysregulate our electrical grid.

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1 hour ago, blunted said:

Just imagine if we didn't have all the wind and solar in the province causing unpredictable momentary spikes and dips in production of electricity, we wouldn't need anything like this.

To be clear, I am not suggesting this is the right thing to do in this place at this time, but as a technique it is often called out by renewable supports as exactly what needs to be done to help get renewables working properly. It's too bad it'll never find a place to happen because everyone objects to everything all the time. One more proof of the law of unintended consequences. I dare you to find one quarry in the province that the greens would let you do this too without running you through the ringer. It's almost certain they would find a frog living in the quarry that would of course make any such change to the quarry catastrophic and thus verboten.

Perhaps we should have way more nuclear so we don't have to come up with scheme's like this one. That way base load is always covered with zero emissions energy production, close to where it's needed in the GTA in particular. There was a time, not long ago, when we were quite good at nuclear energy production. Too bad we let that skill set slide so badly or we wouldn't need those upright bird choppers and these water park fish mulchers to dysregulate our electrical grid.

I'm a believer in small nuclear, but that's a wee bit off topic.    As for closed loop pumped stored power, there's a decent sized one going in at Marmora (near Peterborough).  No idea how much opposition, if any, they faced.    To me, using an old quarry for this is far better than ripping up a really nice stretch of Georgian Bay shoreline, installing large breakwalls, and mucking up the water.   In an area where there is no convenient connection to the existing grid, so it also comes with the need for a large hydro corridor - likely through Blue Mountain (Collingwood) area to Barrie.

Sign the petition, or not.   I'm just doing my bit to raise visibility of a very large project that has been trying to slide in under the radar.  Only now are community groups becoming aware of it, and its implications to the bay.

 

Cheers,

Phil.

432603862_Marmorapumpedstorage.thumb.PNG.d8ddbb48385c81a13da20028e0d0406f.PNG

 

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1 hour ago, blunted said:

as a technique it is often called out by renewable supports as exactly what needs to be done to help get renewables working properly.

basically a very pretty battery that we need until we have efficient giga batteries?

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19 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

basically a very pretty battery that we need until we have efficient giga batteries?

Indeed a pretty battery. 

We have enough trouble making big batteries for cars at this point. It gives me pause on the future of giga batteries vis a vis Chicom lock down on rare earth metals involved. They are still very complicated to build, they cost a metric fuck ton and I must admit I haven't seen any giga-batteries working in practice, but perhaps I have not looked hard enough.

Phil, good example. Marmora is about as physically close to the market as is the Bruce peninsula, but to your point, at least they are not fucking up a nice beach with this. I suppose once they start running the system there won't be too many issues with invasive fish species in those ponds either, score one for the fish mulchers. Good on them for experimenting at least.

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They could set up that closed loop right in the GTA where it belongs

Bury the pipes all the way up Bathurst to Lawrence area and build the tank under another apartment building or a shopping mall. Wait, there's a shopping mall there already....

Another reason for that location IS the clear water. Run of the river projects in BC are picky as to which streams they choose. Too much turbidity or the wrong water quality will eat up a water turbine wheel in no time, same as a pump. I saw a small half a mil dollar wheel in an IPP north of Whistler before it went on line. A large one must be mighty pricey. I have a pic somewhere.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Foilman said:

In an area where there is no convenient connection to the existing grid, so it also comes with the need for a large hydro corridor - likely through Blue Mountain (Collingwood) area to Barrie.

They might be planning to cross the  peninsula 100 km west to the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station and pick up the grid there.  I like the Quarry idea better.

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I'm thinking scalable small-scale power reactors  would have been a great idea that was never implemented. A lot that could go wrong with a small reactor has long since been figured out in part due to the SL-1 accident.  I have seen the destruction and decontamination work at Fukushima with my own eyes so I can understand why people don't like large scale reactors.

 

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1 hour ago, Bruno said:

Isn't this a done deal? Ten years too late.

Not at all.  They are just now in the consultation phase.   No permits yet.   Environmental surveys not yet done.

The Dept of National Defense, who's land the plant will be on, has a link here:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/campaigns/consultations-4th-division-hydroelectric-pumped-storage-meaford.html

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14 hours ago, Foilman said:

Not at all.  They are just now in the consultation phase.   No permits yet.   Environmental surveys not yet done.

The Dept of National Defense, who's land the plant will be on, has a link here:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/campaigns/consultations-4th-division-hydroelectric-pumped-storage-meaford.html

No petition required, I mean come on, it's the DND, they'll never get it done. After 20 years they still haven't figured out how to buy a fucking helicopter, how in fuck are they going to build an oversized Jacuzzi at the top of a hill that doesn't even have any guns on it?

By the end of the process we'll end up with  $25 BN gender neutral algae pond that no one knows what it was built for in the first place. It'll be outdated by a decade by the time its even close to functioning as designed. At that point the Liberal government of the day will have to buy it for $80BN and then hand it over to the local first nation who used to run a pet cemetery out there 8,000 years ago as mentioned in their oral history. They'll end up harvesting the algae, selling it as an unregulated Soylent Green additive and turning a tidy tax free profit from the whole show.

Nothing to see here, it's Northern Ontario, sort of, move along.

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31 minutes ago, blunted said:

No petition required, I mean come on, it's the DND, they'll never get it done. After 20 years they still haven't figured out how to buy a fucking helicopter, how in fuck are they going to build an oversized Jacuzzi at the top of a hill that doesn't even have any guns on it?

By the end of the process we'll end up with  $25 BN gender neutral algae pond that no one knows what it was built for in the first place. It'll be outdated by a decade by the time its even close to functioning as designed. At that point the Liberal government of the day will have to buy it for $80BN and then hand it over to the local first nation who used to run a pet cemetery out there 8,000 years ago as mentioned in their oral history. They'll end up harvesting the algae, selling it as an unregulated Soylent Green additive and turning a tidy tax free profit from the whole show.

Nothing to see here, it's Northern Ontario, sort of, move along.

In fairness I don’t think you can count on DND ineptitude stopping this as all DND is providing is the land. It does not take a lot of execution skill to step back and let someone else build on land you’ve given them access to. 

What can stop this is public pressure through the permitting process and at the political level. The public pressure will be most effective if it is applied in a broad sustained way AND the advocacy is reasonable and rational.

Objecting to a private sector participant making money is not a winning argument in a market based economy in a reasonable functioning democracy. An argument might be made that the profit margin is excessive compared to the risk and therefore this should be done as a government owned and run utility. I think the track record of such ventures in Canada suggest the private sector approach would deliver lower cost of power to consumers – but feel free to do the analysis and argue otherwise.

Objecting to using 30% extra power in order to provide peak power is not a winning argument unless it is supported by careful analysis showing that there are better ways to meet the peak power demand or to reduce the peak.

You might deal with the peak through pricing and other mechanisms to reduce the size of the peak – so you would have to make the case that x# of people are OK paying more and modifying their behaviour to avoid this project being built.

Alternatively one could identify another source of peak power – realistically that is probably gas powered generation – so more greenhouse gases and +/- capital outlay and +/- operating cost and +/- time to come on line. The attractiveness of alternative sources of peak power will depend on the economics, construction time, and your views on systemic costs of greenhouse gases. I’m sure the good citizens of Oakville would welcome a gas powered plant in their neighbourhood. The plans and feasibility studies are readily available to speed the process.

Of course there is the Tesla argument that there are better ways (i.e. batteries) to shift the energy from off peak generation to availability for peak consumption. I think there are at least three hurdles for this approach. 1. I don’t think the economics support it (yet). 2. Batteries have some significant costs not properly priced into them – take a look at the life cycle of all the components and is not yet a “clean” technology. 3. It looks like for a while there may be shortages / high prices for the best battery technology – if so is this where you want to deploy that resource.

So if you want to object it seems the most effective basis would be the impact on the scenic beauty of the area and on fish life. Those can be powerful and effective arguments especially if you reinforce them with a link them to  credible estimates of lost tourism income and employment.

Focusing on supportable objections might lead to adjusting the project to reduce its actual negative impact. That might be in the form of effective protection for fish etc. (good luck with that but not out of the question) and modifications to reduce the scenic impact (would probably still be ugly but maybe less ugly).

It might lead to modifications like storage at both ends rather than using Georgian bay for the lower reservoir...If the same elevated reservoir and same drop is used that then means massively more scenic impact at the bottom end and acquiring a lot of additional land (maybe not on offer from DND).

It might lead to moving the project somewhere else – or abandoning the project with the possible result that a gas fired plant gets build instead.

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I guess I didn't put eh /s/ sarcasm indicator in my post.

Personally I don't have any objection to the proposed project. I think it fires a fine hole in the sails of the hypocrite green left.

I support doing the project better, but by that I mean saving the fishies and keeping turbidity down to a dull roar in the lake itself. I think the petition is hyperbolic in what it has to say about the Ludington plant in MI. If you study a few years worth of Google earth shots you can see varying degrees of turbidity that in many case are comparable to what is happening  a few km either side of the facility naturally. It sits on a very long beach which naturally tends toward turbidity near the shoreline. Hell, look at Google Earth right now at the shot of the area in question and there's a shit ton of NATURAL turbidity simply from the run off from the escarpment itself, today, right now.

I don't think it's incumbent upon humanity to not disturb nature at all, forever in all places. The few seawalls involved, not that big a deal, changing sediment flow, again, not a huge deal to me. Either in Georgian Bay or here in my backyard where I've watched changes to sediment flow my entire life on Lake Ontario. None of it is catastrophic and hey, it's nature, it changes all the time of it's own accord, there is no stasis.

The 30% energy premium thing? that's just a flatly stupid argument on its face. the only reason for doing this is the totally dysregulated system of electricity production we have invented for ourselves, notably renewables. If we didn't periodically flood our network with excess electricity with renewables, we wouldn't need gigabatteries, of either the chemical type or those predicated upon potential energy storage. This solution is only needed because of renewables, period. The fact that we as a province have to pay good money, every day, to give away excess power to adjacent grids is the very rationale for doing such a project at all, that's where that extra 30% comes from right there. This should reduce the fiscal bleeding of the network and reduced the amount of GHG it should have to generate in the long term as we would need less base load Gas fired or nuclear to make up the green gaps in the network at night and calm days. The net effect of these kinds of facilities is to reduce the total power generated in the province as we won't need to export surplus power all the time at a cost to us, the citizens that have to pay for it. I know math is hard but its not that fucking hard.

As for the hydro corridor for more cables? Are you fucking kidding me? If you stand around advocating for micro generation and distributed generation such as massive renewables you are de facto advocating for more not less distribution grid. So what's one more line of cable running down the side of the road. I have no doubt the energy for this could be ported towards Barrie / Collingwood / Owen Sound corridor of civilization to be put to good use. electricity is not transmitted by Bluetooth or good intentions, it takes copper and rights of way.

Lost tourism? FFS, put a fucking Marina on the new break walls, there, fixed it for you, increased tourism. Hey, everybody wins. Even the fishies as they love spawning in marinas, they love the cover provided and with a bit of renaturalization of the breakwalls themselves, presto, more riparian habitat. (I work with these issues frequently through organizations such as the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, TRCA who are actually pretty cool about coming up with building solutions that can benefit the biosphere and the human world at the same time, that whole win/win thing).

Gas fired plant in Oakville? Didn't we already spend $1BN NOT doing that? all for saving two riding seats for an entire four years, thank you very much Ms Wynne.

Finally, while Meaford is a lovely little town and the sailing is very nice there, it is hardly a pristine wilderness environment by any stretch of the imagination. The hand of man is already all over that place. I don't think three breakwalls in the lake are going to do it irreparable harm

If people didn't reflexively reject everything immediately they might find there is incredible, sensitive and intelligent solutions to be had to complex problems.

I heard a funny saying the other day, I hope I get it right. The closer to home problems are, the more conservative everyone tends to get. That's what I see when I see this kind of NIMBYism going on, especially from the eco-warriors. They can only say no no no no not here, not now, not ever. They really struggle to actually be part of the solution when it comes to their backyard, but they'll happily pontificate on what someone across the province should put up with to assuage their guilt for flipping on a light switch every day.

NB, I am a practicing Architect who works constantly to gain approvals for projects of all sorts across the province. There is a wide variety of people who we encounter in our work but there is one particular variety of creatures who is almost universal throughout society and those are the people I am speaking about. They don't want anything to change or evolve in their backyard, ever. Space, light, views, any of it. Think of any physical characteristic that could be impacted by something and they'll find a way to bitch about it. Right up until the point when they want to put a huge expansion on their own house, then they go totally libertarian, "Why can't I do that? I pay my taxes!".

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18 minutes ago, blunted said:

...the only reason for doing this is the totally dysregulated system of electricity production we have invented for ourselves, notably renewables. If we didn't periodically flood our network with excess electricity with renewables, we wouldn't need gigabatteries, of either the chemical type or those predicated upon potential energy storage. This solution is only needed because of renewables, period. The fact that we as a province have to pay good money, every day, to give away excess power to adjacent grids is the very rationale for doing such a project at all, that's where that extra 30% comes from right there. This should reduce the fiscal bleeding of the network and reduced the amount of GHG it should have to generate in the long term as we would need less base load Gas fired or nuclear to make up the green gaps in the network at night and calm days. The net effect of these kinds of facilities is to reduce the total power generated in the province as we won't need to export surplus power all the time at a cost to us, the citizens that have to pay for it. I know math is hard but its not that fucking hard....

 

Blunted I’m sorry if it looked like my rant was aimed at you. I quoted you just to come to the defence of DND as you would not expect the department of defence to be able to defend themselves.

Clearly I should have used sarcasm font for the reference to Oakville – that was caricature of NIMBYism and political expediency and skulduggery. The people of Ontario were forced to pay about a billion per seat the Libs gained – there should have been jail time.

Generally I’m comfortable with your observations except for your assertion that it’s the solar and wind supply that lead to the need to for shifting power from off peak to peak and the impact of energy exports. Maybe I'm missing something. If so I’d be delighted to be educated...I’m an enthusiastic if slow learner.

My impression from the three images below (Ontario demand, supply and net imports  for Oct 11 – 16):

The peak demand seems (surprisingly enough) to correspond to peak supply from wind and solar.

The two largest sources nuc and hydro are structurally (nuclear) and economically (nuclear and hydro) well suited for base load generate at capacity supply so the ability to move energy from periods where this capacity is above demand e.g. 0:400 to periods where it is below demand e.g. 19:00 seems the big driver of the Georgian bay stored water project.

Ontario imports more power than it exports with no day showing net export.

image.thumb.png.7a74c2ee688a04631e0a176fa78bc4f4.png

 

image.thumb.png.633cd746ce973eb5e4ece7241624eaac.png

image.thumb.png.f501cc27f334533c269d44accefe9886.png

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Seems this project will just compete with more and more Teslas charging overnight. why compete with that market need.

Ramped hydro pricing out here turned into a revenue grab for the govt at the time. About 8 cents base and 50 percent above a useage point slightly less than an average house load for houses with enviro friendly baseboard heat or heat pumps.

 

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41 minutes ago, Norse Horse said:

Seems this project will just compete with more and more Teslas charging overnight. why compete with that market need.

Ramped hydro pricing out here turned into a revenue grab for the govt at the time. About 8 cents base and 50 percent above a useage point slightly less than an average house load for houses with enviro friendly baseboard heat or heat pumps.

 

Fair enough if Teslas and other plugins start using up the excess nightime capacity then there will be no benefit to shifting that capacity to peak use...of course that means that then some daytime peak capacity will need to be added.

If you doubled the number of  electic cars in ontario and had them all max charge at the same time you would start to eat into the surplus capacity at night - for the few hours they were all at peak charge. Realistically you would need something like 10 to 20 times the number of electric cars in ontario to use up the baseload capacity at night. Until then why not use up the wasted base load capacity by shifting it to peak daytime use.

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1 hour ago, KC375 said:

 

 

Generally I’m comfortable with your observations except for your assertion that it’s the solar and wind supply that lead to the need to for shifting power from off peak to peak and the impact of energy exports. Maybe I'm missing something. If so I’d be delighted to be educated...I’m an enthusiastic if slow learner.

 

My impression from the three images below (Ontario demand, supply and net imports  for Oct 11 – 16):

The peak demand seems (surprisingly enough) to correspond to peak supply from wind and solar.

 

The two largest sources nuc and hydro are structurally (nuclear) and economically (nuclear and hydro) well suited for base load generate at capacity supply so the ability to move energy from periods where this capacity is above demand e.g. 0:400 to periods where it is below demand e.g. 19:00 seems the big driver of the Georgian bay stored water project.

 

image.thumb.png.633cd746ce973eb5e4ece7241624eaac.png

 

Pretty narrow time window there. just a few windy days actually.

My understanding was middle of the summer is the worst problem, particularly on hot nights, lots of AC demand, no solar, little to no wind in the dark times.

It is very jurisdiction specific and grid specific. We're lucky to still have as much nuclear as we do.

Not easy to read the graphs without the related legend showing what each color means.

I hear you though, our jurisdiction may not be as bad as some others have it such as SW Australia having blown up half their grid by accident due to trying to accommodate alternative energy sources.

Again, the fundamental problem with renewables without a battery e.g very large capacitor, is that you get random spikes in production that must be accommodated somehow by easing off generation elsewhere in the grid, to get the same output. The response has to be quite quick. Imagine a cold front blasting across the province blowing clouds out of the way as a nice stiff NW breeze blows into town, all of a sudden all the solar and wind is doubling output across the province as fast as the front moves across the land and the installations. Tough for engineers to make any prediction about when exactly and how much exactly will come on line, they have to take it and dump it into the system. Then they have to ramp gas powered plants up and down quickly to smooth everything out and match the supply to the demand. I don't envy them.

The uphill Jacuzzi should be that big capacitor, storing the variable energy until you need it on a short response time.

 

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53 minutes ago, blunted said:

.... We're lucky to still have as much nuclear as we do.....

The uphill Jacuzzi should be that big capacitor, storing the variable energy until you need it on a short response time.

 

(Just to trigger all the anti-nukes). I've got a solution to reduce greenhouse gasses, avoid all the headache of wind and solar, and avoid the scenic tragedy or water storage on Georgian Bay.

What Ontario should do is lay on a bunch of nuclear power – enough to fully cover peak demand. Very low carbon footprint. Make a big contribution to Paris climate commitments.

Then use all the excess capacity at nonpeak time to produce aluminum – which is basically bauxite used to solidify electricity.  It’s no accident that Alcan is in Quebec, the land of cheap hydro electricity.

Canada is the worlds 4th biggest producer of Aluminum

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 yet doesn’t hit the map as producer of Bauxite.

World-distribution-of-bauxite-reserves-a

It’s all about the hydro – of Canada’s 12 Aluminum plants 11 are in Quebec and the 12th is in BC powered by hydro from Kitimat.

aluminum_cdnrefineryandsmelters_2017.png

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Lots of good informed discussion.  Great.   And I get it - why should I be advocating for this one little corner of Georgian Bay to be spared, when the pumped storage plant is for the greater good.

Well, for one, I LIKE that little corner of GB and the proposed plant will be a substantial and permanent blight on the shoreline, for the purpose of an aging technology.   Power storage is a rapidly evolving field, and by the time this plant comes online in 10 years, the need for it could be past.   Something better will have come along (hydrogen?) AND power use / load sharing profiles will have changed with climate change pressures.

Link for the petition is in the first post.   Sign it.   Or not.

Phil

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3 hours ago, Foilman said:

Lots of good informed discussion.  Great.   And I get it - why should I be advocating for this one little corner of Georgian Bay to be spared, when the pumped storage plant is for the greater good.

Well, for one, I LIKE that little corner of GB and the proposed plant will be a substantial and permanent blight on the shoreline, for the purpose of an aging technology.   Power storage is a rapidly evolving field, and by the time this plant comes online in 10 years, the need for it could be past.   Something better will have come along (hydrogen?) AND power use / load sharing profiles will have changed with climate change pressures.

Link for the petition is in the first post.   Sign it.   Or not.

Phil

I'm pretty confident that without sustained pressure the plant will be uglier than it needs to be and probably do more harm to fish than needed. With pressure the plant might be cancelled or more likely the negative effects reduced. So I support your endeavour.

I'm not so sure about the pettition. It might help you achieve your objectives. It does come across both as NIMBY and not well informed. For example it talks about gas powered plants as the source of energy (along with evil Nukes) for the pumping. Gas powered implies evil greenhouse gases etc. From what I see from the supply data it's very unlikely Gas will be used to pump the storage, much more likely Hydro (along with base load Nuke).

If I cared a lot about this I'd be emailing all the relevant elected folks at all levels of government to express my concern about scenic impact and fish impact (for what it's worth I've sent a few emails on this). I'd also work the 'crats - it is very easy to get the contact info for the public servants in all the relevant organization - contact them and express credible, well founded concerns. You might be surprised at the impact. Contact them and push ill informed views and you will likely have no effect.

A few thousand emails will likely move the needle more than few thousand signatures on a not particularly credible on line petition.

In any case I wish you well in your mission.

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3 hours ago, KC375 said:

...I'm not so sure about the pettition. It might help you achieve your objectives. It does come across both as NIMBY and not well informed. ...If I cared a lot about this I'd be emailing all the relevant elected folks at all levels of government to express my concern about scenic impact and fish impact (for what it's worth I've sent a few emails on this). I'd also work the 'crats - it is very easy to get the contact info for the public servants in all the relevant organization - contact them and express credible, well founded concerns. You might be surprised at the impact. Contact them and push ill informed views and you will likely have no effect.

A few thousand emails will likely move the needle more than few thousand signatures on a not particularly credible on line petition.

I don't disagree with any of your observations/comments.   The organization of the opposition to the plant seems pretty loose at the moment.  One person went ahead and independantly started the petition, another few have held town hall meetings, and then there's the SaveGeorgianBay Facebook Group that somehow tries to pull it together.   The group needs to get better organized, raise some funds, pull in someone with better media/marketting savvy, etc.      The biggest stakeholders are the cottagers that are within a km or two of the plant (not easy to raise public sympathy for them), plus the full time residents that are in the path of the hydro lines and any catastrophic failure of the upper holding pond.     But if my postings can get a few more signatures on the petition, or influence someone with the right skills to help out, well... every bit helps.    

Cheers

Phil.

SailingGeorgianBay.thumb.jpg.d040d513b9d4e9844545443b167caec4.jpg

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  • 8 months later...

Time to bump this back up to the top.    There is a petition online to be presented to Parliament - if you are a Canadian Citizen, please consider signing.

https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2670

The original petition, at Change.org, is nearing 40,000 signatures, but doesn't carry weight with the government.

Copying below a recent Letter to the Editor of the local paper, that does a good job of debunking the "greenwashing" that Trans Canada Energy has been doing to cast the project in a positive light:

Published: Friday, 19 June 2020 07:54
Written by Letter to the Editor

Editor,
In advance of the June 1st Councillor’s review of this project, I had shared with several councillors and the Mayor a 4-page technical/financial/environment assessment with regard to the Pumped Storage Proposal. In this report, I identified several very significant downfalls and omitted matters with the TC Energy proposal and their supporting narratives. Given these technical and environmental revelations, it would be impossible for any key decision maker to reasonably advocate for proceeding with construction of this pumped storage
facility. At the conclusion of this report, I confirmed my 20-year engineering involvement with some of the world’s largest hydro dam and water storage construction projects.

I am disappointed that the only Councillor who touched on a significant rebuttal to the TC Energy proposal was Mr. Kentner. There are 4 very key arguments against the approval of this project which must be conspicuously showcased for the public and for government decision makers to consider:

1. Ontario’s low peak, surplus electricity (generated by hydro-electric and nuclear) currently being sold at low cost or just given to American utilities south of Ontario, is being used there to reduce the consumption of coal in their coal-fired generation plants. All utilities in neighbouring states have varying dependencies on coal in their respective jurisdictions. Our surplus electricity is therefore already reducing the discharge of CO2 and SO3 (acid rain causing gas) into our shared atmosphere.

2. Pumped energy storage is about 70% efficient, meaning there will be a loss of over 400 megawatts of electrical energy every day that enters the environment as waste heat. In perspective, this wasted energy would be sufficient to power over 400,000 homes. TC Energy is knowingly proposing to create this waste so it can sell the 70% of energy pumped storage does capture to Ontario consumers at higher prices than to American consumers.

3. Given my experience in dam building projects, I have estimated the construction of this project will introduce about 300,000 tons of CO2 into our atmosphere from the diesel fuel required to power the earth moving equipment and CO2 created by required cement production.

4. Given TC Energy’s apparent objective to not sell off-peak electricity at low cost to our U.S. neighbours and to “store” that electricity here in Ontario so it can be sold to us during highpeak demand periods, there is a far more efficient and less invasive technology available today to achieve that objective. The 3.3 billion dollars earmarked for this project would enable the installation of battery storage devices in one million Ontario homes. This would provide TC Energy the 1,000 megawatt market they require at off-peak periods they claim would be derived from pumping Georgian Bay water to the top of the Niagara Escarpment. It would not require the creation of a high voltage transmission corridor from Meaford to Barrie (or no other changes to Ontario’s distribution grid), and it would allow homeowners to have emergency back-up power in their homes in times of power failures during stormy weather. Home charging/storage systems can have a 100% energy capture efficiency during our 8-month heating season.

In the June 4th Meaford Independent edition, a Mr. Clark Little of TC Energy is quoted saying, “This is a world class clean energy project, using cutting edge technology.” This claim is preposterous and irresponsible. If it wasn’t demanding 3.3 billion dollars of eventual public money to permanently scar the Georgian Bay shoreline, Little’s statement would be laughable.

Pumped storage concept and technology is at least 100 years old. There is nothing “clean and cutting edge” about it. We have highly efficient energy capture technology at our fingertips today that precludes consideration of a project that yields a 70 % return from clean energy employed, creates 300,000 tons of CO2 in its construction and butchers what we are told is a “world biosphere” in Georgian Bay. TC Energy knows this.

It is ludicrous we should be even considering this antiquated and inefficient technology. It is astonishing it has progressed this far, whereby TC has hoodwinked less technically informed people into agreeing to conduct an 'Environmental Assessment Approval Process'. One can’t help contemplating that TC Energy’s adamant pursuit of this outdated technology is driven by more than just 'pride of authorship'. What undisclosed financial arrangements are fueling this obsession with technology from a time prior to World War One? Before this proceeds any further, a formal inquisition needs to be initiated to examine and quantify alternate technologies.

By the time this project would be commissioned for start-up in 2027, energy storage technology will have advanced even further to the extent that electricity supplied from this facility will be considered worthless given the inherent inefficiencies of pumped energy storage. It will never be used.

Stephen Carr, Meaford

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12 hours ago, Foilman said:

Time to bump this back up to the top.    There is a petition online to be presented to Parliament - if you are a Canadian Citizen, please consider signing.

https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2670

The original petition, at Change.org, is nearing 40,000 signatures, but doesn't carry weight with the government.

Copying below a recent Letter to the Editor of the local paper, that does a good job of debunking the "greenwashing" that Trans Canada Energy has been doing to cast the project in a positive light:

Published: Friday, 19 June 2020 07:54
Written by Letter to the Editor

Editor,
In advance of the June 1st Councillor’s review of this project, I had shared with several councillors and the Mayor a 4-page technical/financial/environment assessment with regard to the Pumped Storage Proposal. In this report, I identified several very significant downfalls and omitted matters with the TC Energy proposal and their supporting narratives. Given these technical and environmental revelations, it would be impossible for any key decision maker to reasonably advocate for proceeding with construction of this pumped storage
facility. At the conclusion of this report, I confirmed my 20-year engineering involvement with some of the world’s largest hydro dam and water storage construction projects.

I am disappointed that the only Councillor who touched on a significant rebuttal to the TC Energy proposal was Mr. Kentner. There are 4 very key arguments against the approval of this project which must be conspicuously showcased for the public and for government decision makers to consider:

1. Ontario’s low peak, surplus electricity (generated by hydro-electric and nuclear) currently being sold at low cost or just given to American utilities south of Ontario, is being used there to reduce the consumption of coal in their coal-fired generation plants. All utilities in neighbouring states have varying dependencies on coal in their respective jurisdictions. Our surplus electricity is therefore already reducing the discharge of CO2 and SO3 (acid rain causing gas) into our shared atmosphere.

2. Pumped energy storage is about 70% efficient, meaning there will be a loss of over 400 megawatts of electrical energy every day that enters the environment as waste heat. In perspective, this wasted energy would be sufficient to power over 400,000 homes. TC Energy is knowingly proposing to create this waste so it can sell the 70% of energy pumped storage does capture to Ontario consumers at higher prices than to American consumers.

3. Given my experience in dam building projects, I have estimated the construction of this project will introduce about 300,000 tons of CO2 into our atmosphere from the diesel fuel required to power the earth moving equipment and CO2 created by required cement production.

4. Given TC Energy’s apparent objective to not sell off-peak electricity at low cost to our U.S. neighbours and to “store” that electricity here in Ontario so it can be sold to us during highpeak demand periods, there is a far more efficient and less invasive technology available today to achieve that objective. The 3.3 billion dollars earmarked for this project would enable the installation of battery storage devices in one million Ontario homes. This would provide TC Energy the 1,000 megawatt market they require at off-peak periods they claim would be derived from pumping Georgian Bay water to the top of the Niagara Escarpment. It would not require the creation of a high voltage transmission corridor from Meaford to Barrie (or no other changes to Ontario’s distribution grid), and it would allow homeowners to have emergency back-up power in their homes in times of power failures during stormy weather. Home charging/storage systems can have a 100% energy capture efficiency during our 8-month heating season.

In the June 4th Meaford Independent edition, a Mr. Clark Little of TC Energy is quoted saying, “This is a world class clean energy project, using cutting edge technology.” This claim is preposterous and irresponsible. If it wasn’t demanding 3.3 billion dollars of eventual public money to permanently scar the Georgian Bay shoreline, Little’s statement would be laughable.

Pumped storage concept and technology is at least 100 years old. There is nothing “clean and cutting edge” about it. We have highly efficient energy capture technology at our fingertips today that precludes consideration of a project that yields a 70 % return from clean energy employed, creates 300,000 tons of CO2 in its construction and butchers what we are told is a “world biosphere” in Georgian Bay. TC Energy knows this.

It is ludicrous we should be even considering this antiquated and inefficient technology. It is astonishing it has progressed this far, whereby TC has hoodwinked less technically informed people into agreeing to conduct an 'Environmental Assessment Approval Process'. One can’t help contemplating that TC Energy’s adamant pursuit of this outdated technology is driven by more than just 'pride of authorship'. What undisclosed financial arrangements are fueling this obsession with technology from a time prior to World War One? Before this proceeds any further, a formal inquisition needs to be initiated to examine and quantify alternate technologies.

By the time this project would be commissioned for start-up in 2027, energy storage technology will have advanced even further to the extent that electricity supplied from this facility will be considered worthless given the inherent inefficiencies of pumped energy storage. It will never be used.

Stephen Carr, Meaford

I wish I was a Canadian citizen so I could help.  Damn.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Phil, thanks for the original post and bump.  I signed.  Rationale?  Open-loop pumped storage just does not make sense in the Georgian Bay.  Small projects can make sense.  Big projects almost inevitably run afoul of unintended consequences and un-counted costs.  Like chopped fish.  There are alternate technologies that do not continuously macerate wildlife through their entire lifecycle.  Etc. 

There are two model homes at NRCan here in Ottawa I worked on with panels on the roof and battery storage in the basement with hardware algorithms that smooth out the "duck curve" PV-production variability.  Part of the Ontario Smart Grid Fund initiative.  Storage cost is still outrageous.  But it is not more mega-projects that we need in order to clean up our act.  Inefficient open-loop pumped-water seems like a big step backwards.  Something stinks.

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as a  TC shareholder and as an Ontario resident, I'm really concerned... TC energy  ( former trans-Canada pipelines) was the same outfit that screwed Ontario tax payers in the gas plant fiasco. ( did not hurt my stock, but as an ontario tax payer it hurt me,, millions out of the budget for roads and other things that matter to residents)  

TCE also owns the Bruce nuclear plant. Ontario "Guarantees" the minimum hydro rate.  SO  who pays for the hydro to pump up the water?? Ontario tax payers or TCenergy shareholders.. Zero net gain business models do not work  for shareholders or taxpayers..

A gas plant near Orillia would be cheaper ( close to the main gas lines and hydro grid main lines)  and deliver instant on power and be WAY WAY cheaper...

 

PS.  if TCE has excess energy at certain times of the day  use it to make Hydrogen...( which you can use in a fuel cell) ,,,,

PSS  TCE also has interest in another pipeline.. that was just sold to the government or something like that...

Happy Labour day.

 

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