While central Alberta was under heat warnings, baking in over 30 C temperatures, the province’s wind power generation was doing next to nothing to run the province’s air conditioners.

Alberta’s total power generation at 4:08 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30. MC is maximum capacity in megawatts, TNG is total net to grid in megawatts, and DCR is dispatched (and accepted) contingency reserve, in megawatts. Alberta Electric System Operator

That’s because at 4:08 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, the province’s 28 wind farms were putting out just 0.5 per cent of their nameplate capacity, contributing 13 megawatts out of a maximum capacity of 2,589 megawatts.

That’s according to the Alberta Electric System Operator, which puts out minute-by-minute reports on the province’s power grid. You can see the results here at http://ets.aeso.ca/ets_web/ip/Market/Reports/CSDReportServlet .

SaskPower does not provide such data to the public, thus Alberta’s grid is the closest analog to what could be happening in Saskatchewan.

Of the 28 wind farms in Alberta, 21 reported zero power production, and four were reporting just one megawatt of power produced. This trend was consistent since at least 1 p.m., when there was a cumulative 52 megawatts province-wide. And by 5:25 p.m., when the supper usage peak hits, it wasn’t much better, at 35 megawatts.

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Alberta’s windpower generation at 4:08 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Of 28 wind farms, only 7 were producing any power at all, and four of those were only producing one megawatt, the equivalent of 1360 horsepower. Alberta Electric System Operator

 

Two of them, Wheatland Wind’s 120 megawatt facility, and Suncor’s 200 megawatt Forty Mile Granlea, are recent additions to the list and do not appear to be producing power yet. But the other 19 typically do.

Nearly all of the 24 solar facilities in Alberta were putting out close to their maximum nameplate capacity. The exception was Travers, which is nearing completion. Its 465 megawatts is close to the total number of all the other facilities combined. While it occasionally shows up producing some power, at this point it was showing zero. Hull (25 megawatts) and Kisikaw-Pisim2 (7 megawatts) also showed zeros.

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While Alberta has four battery facilities, as usual, none reported supply power to the grid, despite wind producing next to zero power. In nine months of random observations, Pipeline Online has not yet observed those battery facilities supplying one megawatt to the grid. They did have 58 megawatts of dispatched (and accepted) contingency reserve.

Alberta’s energy storage by batteries at 4:08 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30. While there were 58 megawatts in reserve, none were being contributed to the grid, despite wind’s minimal performance. Alberta Electric System Operator

Heat warnings blanketed much of central Alberta, as seen from Environment Canada.

Heat warnings across central Alberta at 4:08 p.m. on Aug. 30. Environment Canada.

 

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