InsideToronto has an interesting article on the ‘backup’ natural gas power plant at the Kodak lands. Metrolinx is, the article says, looking at “alternatives to the proposed natural gas powered backup facility at the Kodak lands that would provide the same functionality,”
Frances Nunziata says, however, “At the end of the day, I think (Metrolinx) will build what they originally recommended back in November.”
I think the concern is not whether a natural gas plant gets built: the concern should be how often it is used. Metrolinx is proposing that it will be used in the case of outages, to move the LRT trains, but also when the power system is under heavy load.
System-wide power outages happen very infrequently—only every few years, according to Metrolinx. Price spikes, though, happen very often indeed: yesterday, the price of electricity briefly hit $372/MWh, twenty times the typical price. Would Metrolinx fire up the generators to save a few bucks?
We will get a natural-gas plant. Let’s focus on a manageable goal: a sensible operation policy.
That natural gas plant should be operated only in emergencies, not for profit.