Wind turbines on the Alberta side of the Saskatcehwan/Alberta border, northwest of Macklin, Saskatchewan Photo by Brian Zinchuk

There must be something about Wednesdays, because another Wednesday resulted in another failure of Alberta’s wind power generation.

At 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, Alberta’s power grid was getting just 54 megawatts from its 28 wind farms with a cumulative nameplate capacity of 2,589 megawatts. That’s 2 per cent of its total rated capacity, and less than half the power output of SaskPower’s singular coal unit equipped with carbon capture and storage, Boundary Dam Unit 3. And that level of output remained persistent for at least the next two hours.

That’s according to the Alberta Electric System Operator, which posts minute-by-minute updates on the entire grid in that province. SaskPower keeps such information proprietary, and does not post such details publicly.

Total Alberta power generation at 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 24. MC is maximum capacity in megawatts, TNG is total net to grid, in megawatts, and DCR is dispatched and accepted contingency reserve. Alberta Electric System Operator

Of those 28 wind farms, 17 were generating precisely zero megawatts for grid consumption. Two of those are recent additions, Suncor’s Forty Mile Granlea (200 megawatts) and Wheatland Wind (120 megawatts), and may not be fully operational, but they are listed.

Total Alberta wind power generation at 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 24. Seventeen of the 28 wind farms were producing zero power to the grid. Alberta Electric System Operator

And yet again, Alberta’s now 70 megawatts of battery backup, meant to fill in during times of lower output from renewables was contributing zero power to the grid, despite the low wind conditions. In nine months of observations Pipeline Online has not once seen a single megawatt from the now four battery facilities contributed to the grid. The fourth, eReserve3 Mercer Hill, a 20 megawatt facility, was recently added.

Total Alberta energy storage at 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 24. In nine months, Pipeline Online has not observed one megawatt drawn from this battery storage. Alberta Electric System Operator

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But what was filling in was power from its neighbours. In this graphic, negative values mean how many megawatts are being drawn into Alberta.

Total Alberta power interchange at 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 24. Alberta Electric System Operator

Alberta converted several of its coal plants to gas-fired steam. Here was their output:

Total Alberta gas fired steam power generation at 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 24. Alberta Electric System Operator

And the last three coal units in the province were, as usual, running at max capacity.

Total Alberta coal-fired power generation at 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 24. Alberta Electric System Operator

  • 0029 Latus Viro updated Latus phone
  • 0031 Lloydminster_Heavy_Oil_Show_2022
    0031 Lloydminster_Heavy_Oil_Show_2022
  • 0027 TED_NA Helium 2021_30
  • 0028 SIMSA_Energy_Forum_2022
  • 0025 Kendalls
  • 0026 Buffalo Potash Quinton Salt
  • 0023 LC Trucking tractor picker hiring mix
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0019 Jerry Mainil Ltd hiring dugout
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
  • 0015 Latus Viro PO Ad 01
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002
  • 0001