Wind turbines in southern Alberta. Photo by Clive Schaupmeyer

The tremendous variability of wind power generation was on full display in Alberta on Friday, Sept. 15.

At 12:39 a.m., wind power generation had fallen to less than 1 per cent of nameplate capacity. The 3,853 megawatts of wind generation was producing 30 megawatts or 0.8 per cent of capacity, effectively zero.

That’s according to data from the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), as logged by Twitter bot @ReliableAB.

https://x.com/ReliableAB/status/1702574342792450253?s=20

And since it was the middle of the night and the sun was on the opposite side of the planet, roughly over Kandahar, Afghanistan at the time, the 1,292 megawatts of grid-scale solar panels were producing zero. That meant out of 5,145 megawatts of wind and solar were producing 0.6 per cent of their combined capacity.

Step forward 22 hours, to 10:38 p.m., and the wind had kicked up considerably. Now, wind was producing 2,535 megawatts, or 65.8 per cent of capacity. Solar was still zero, since the sun was now over Rangoon, Myanmar. But combined wind and solar was 49.3 per cent capacity.

https://x.com/ReliableAB/status/1702906532352901591?s=20

 

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