Brown Outs coming to Alberta?

Because of the new carbon taxes (provincial from Notley and Federal from the Useful Idiot); TransCanada Power is having to shut not just the Hanna located Sheerness plant in 2017 but will also close the Sundance A and B plants – 560 MW for A and 353 MW for B  ; plus the 756 MW of sheerness. That means Alberta is loosing 1,669 MW of capacity in 2017 or to put it in perspective that is 50% of the power consumption of the city of Calgary or to put it in another way that is the power usage of 2 MILLION average homes.  To generate that with wind turbines you would need a 457% increase in the current Alberta Wind Turbine Capacity.

As of August 2015 Alberta had total capacity of 16,242 MW of capacity, so we are loosing 10% next year. Currently 38% is from clean coal, 44% is from natural gas and 18% is other sources. The “other” sources is 9% wind, 6% is hydroelectric and the 3% is biogas (manure).

The province likes to say 44% is from renewable or alternative sources… but they are counting 26% natural gas where it is a cogen so the natural gas is used to provide steam for something else (usually oil sands production) and then the excess steam is used to make power. No one considers co-gen “renewable” except the Notley government.

Currently Alberta has 1,459MW of wind rated capacity. The government fact sheet from the Gov’t in 2011  mentions “However, due to wind blowing intermittently, the electricity generation from wind power varies over time.” they admit if you crunch the numbers that actual capacity vs rated capacity is between 25-30%. So for every 4MW of rated capacity they actually only generate 1MW of real power. Compare this with a natural gas or coal plant where the rated and actual capacity are the same as long as the plant is running.

Our current government doesn’t mention in the newest fact sheet that the Rated Capacity is not the same as Actual generation capacity.

Using the available information you can see that Alberta used 11,229 MW of power between October 2014-March 2015 , it also mentions that  7,700 MW of additional natural gas power plants are proposed but the vast majority of that has been cancelled after Octobers carbon tax scam came out. So ignoring the capacity that will not be built while Notley is in power we will have 14,573 MW of RATED capacity after the plant closures in 2017.

Now we have to also calculate actual capacity: 14,573MW – (1,459MW of wind) + (1,459MW of wind *25% conversion to actual) = 13,478 MW or about 2,249MW more than demand.

There is a side to this we haven’t discussed – The Environment – Coal and Natural gas power plants come in 2 types: Peak plants which only run during peak hours or during peak demand and continual which run all the time. As wind power fluctuates it is the peak plants turning on and off that make up the differences. Continual plants are more efficient because they are designed to run at an optimal output, while Peak plants are less efficient since they turn on and off all the time and start up is inefficient. All three of the plants closing are continual plants designed to run all the time; that means we are loosing capacity in the area that is the most efficient and more of the peak plants will be required to cover the shortfalls.

I predict that we will see brown outs by the end of 2017.

By Exile1981

  • I am amazed anyone takes Wind Power seriously.

    • Exile1981

      I don’t… When you look at the environmental disaster that is part of the process of making the rare earth magnets that make wind turbines function it’s insane.

      The lake where china stores all the toxic sludge from making the magnets is immense.

      A 2 MW wind turbine has 800lbs -1000lbs of rare earth magnets in it. For each pound of magnets made it is estimated that about 1 pound of radioactive and toxic sludge is produced.

      To put this into perspective – For every MW of wind power a turbine is rated at there will be about 500lbs of radioactive waste. Every 5-10 years when they replace the magnets that same amount of waste is produced. This is more radioactive waste per MW than a nuclear power plant generates.

      If you look at how much CO2 a coal plant puts out and compare it to the up front environmental toxins created by a wind turbines construction it is obvious the coal plant is better for the environment.

      • Good Lord.

        • Exile1981

          I’m all excited by my first news story in print.

          • H

            Bookmarked for future reference – good articles. Thanks.

      • DavidinNorthBurnaby

        The econ nuts on Vancouver Silly Council had a wind turbine put up on a local mountain some years ago. No sooner had it started running than they had to shut it down because of all the complaints about dead, chopped up eagles and such. Stupid thing just sits there being an eyesore now.

  • Ron MacDonald

    Perhaps in future Canadians will think twice before wasting their vote on a protest.

    • Boy will they.

    • johnbrooks3

      Nope, stupid as stupid does. Too many unions will be in power to unseat NDP. Just like Ontario, Manitoba et al.

  • terrence

    Here is link to another blog that deals with the human HEALTH problems related to windmills, it does not deal the problems for BIRDS and animals.

  • FactsWillOut


    Sorta has a nice ring to it, though.

  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    The only upside I can see to the disaster in Alberta is that maybe, just maybe, British Columbians will realize that electing the NoDamnProgress Party here would be a calamity.

    • johnbrooks3

      Nope, misery enjoys company. Ever notice all the provinces with issues have women premiers? My question is not them, but where are all the balls in the provinces?

  • johnbrooks3

    Alberta Advantage

  • simus1

    The key to practical windmills, according to the most intelligent econuts, is a crash money no object research project to perfect the “super storage battery” (aka the “electricity bomb”) which would permit an even power draw when there is too much or too little wind.
    Perhaps if Nutley and Shiny Pony could borrow a billion or so from the Canada Pension Plan and pour it into some leftist institute of higher learning on the cutting edge of saving the world from globull warming?