This is a computer rendition of the 81 megawatt solar farm planned by TC Energy south of Calgary. TC Energy

One, singular, soon-to-be-converted coal unit was producing three times more power than 36 wind farms and 29 solar facilities, combined.

 

The sun is at its highest point in the sky at noon. That’s basically the definition of noon. And solar power is supposed to be at is maximum around that time. And the hours on either side of noon should result in the maximum solar power production.

Total power generation in Alberta as of 11:04 a.m. on Dec. 6. MC is maximum capacity, in megawatts, TNG is total net to grid, and DER is dispatched and accepted contingency reserve. Alberta Electric System Operator

 

But at 11:04 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Alberta’s 1,138 megawatts of installed solar power was producing 88 megawatts to the grid, or 7.7 per cent. Of those 29 solar facilities, 12 were producing exactly zero power to the grid, and seven were producing one megawatt. And a half hour later, there was no marked improvement. At 12:22, the solar and wind numbers were almost identical, at 88 and 49 megawatts, respectively.

Solar power generation in Alberta as of 11:04 a.m. on Dec. 6. MC is maximum capacity, in megawatts, TNG is total net to grid, and DER is dispatched and accepted contingency reserve. Alberta Electric System Operator

 

That’s according to the Alberta Electric System Operator, which publishes minute-by-minute data of the entire provincial grid.

If it wasn’t for the Travers solar facility, which was producing 53 megawatts of its nameplate capacity of 465, Alberta would have hardly been getting any solar power at all, less than an hour from noon.

Wind power generation in Alberta as of 11:04 a.m. on Dec. 6. MC is maximum capacity, in megawatts, TNG is total net to grid, and DER is dispatched and accepted contingency reserve. Alberta Electric System Operator

And wind power was contributing 48 megawatts to the grid, out of an installed base of 3,618 megawatts, or 1.3 per cent.

Now, to be fair, about a half dozen of Alberta’s now 36 wind farms are not fully operational, although they are listed as being part of the grid. But out of those 36 wind farms, 18, or half were contributing zero power to the Alberta grid, and seven were producing one megawatt. And if you said that only 3,000 megawatts is online right now, that still leases wind producing only 1.6 per cent of nameplate capacity.

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At the end of this month, Alberta’s last two remaining coal-fired generating units, Genesee 1 and Genesee 2, are scheduled to go offline, to be “repowered” as natural gas combined cycle. Genesee 3 has recently been converted to “dual fuel,” meaning coal or natural gas. But in 2023, it, too, will be off of coal entirely, ad the whole plant will be natural-gas fueled, and 210 megawatts of batteries are to be installed, more than tripling the current battery support of 70 megawatts across the entire grid.

Alberta will be out of the coal-fired power generation business, at least domestically. Coal exports overseas continue.

carbon capture and storage (CCS) project is also in development for Genesee, alongside a collaboration with Enbridge on the development of an open access carbon hub near the facility. In December 2022, the project received Limited Notice to Proceed approval from Capital Power’s board of directors.

As of 11:10 a.m., Genesee 1 was producing 400 of a possible 400 megawatts, and Genesee 2 was producing 421 megawatts out of a rated 420. In other words, just one of those coal units was producing three times more power than all of Alberta’s 29 solar and 36 wind farms, combined.

 

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  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
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  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 9001
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Brian Zinchuk: Ding! Ding! Ding! Alarm bells should be ringing in Alberta as wind failure leads to second grid alert in three days. Saskatchewan should take notice