How the polar vortex impacted utilities
Utilities across Atlantic Canada asked customers to take action to help lower demand peaks in early February. These actions resulted in direct savings, fewer emissions and helped maintain reliability.
“Thanks everyone who joined us to #shavethepeak Saturday morning. We hit our peak at 9:54am Saturday at 253MW – our highest in 10 years. SJE’s actions combined with your help lowering your energy use meant we were able to shave over 14,000kw – an estimated savings of $215K. It was a cold morning, and our demand charge will still hit a record high for February, BUT thanks to our community we made a difference, and we could not be prouder of the help our customers always provide in #shavethepeak events.”
Prince Edward Island reached record electrical demand (load), which peaked at 393MW.
The Utility relied on diesel-fired generators to manage the peak, which are located in Charlottetown and Borden. These generators added 90MW of capacity.
“The system held up well. It performed like it was designed to do.” – Jason Roberts, CEO, Maritime Electric
“NB Power hit an all-time system peak at over 3,400 MW early this morning. We rely on all our system assets and our diverse fleet to meet a peak like this. Cold days like this make us more aware of the importance of balancing our fleet with the right mix of generation, now and into the future. Today has been interesting – the wind was too strong this morning to play a part in meeting our load. The right mix of assets in the future is very important to meet the energy needs of our customers.”
During the cold weather, Nova Scotia Power had very strong performance from thermal units, hydro, transmission interconnections, and renewables. These sources were all required to serve this level of demand.
“We’ve been experiencing extremely cold temperatures & high winds across NS today which has caused outages. We understand how challenging this is on such a cold day.”
Over 300 staff were in the field working to safely restore power for those that lost it during the storm.
“The Island peak today was ~1730 MW. The previous record in 2019 was ~1720 MW. A big thank you to our skilled & committed teams who have been working behind the scenes ensuring reliable delivery of electricity on this record cold day. ”