Grid Congestion - Canadian Utilities
After a thorough search using credible sources, we were not able to provide a list of Canadian utilities that currently experience the highest amount of grid congestion. However, the research team pulled together other relevant insights and presented them below, together with the details of the team's research strategies to find the required information.
- Electricity generation, transmission, and distribution are either privately controlled or publicly owned by provincial or municipal governments, with the majority of utility companies under public ownership in Canada.
- The electrical grid involves the electrical mix that supports the low-carbon transition and strengthening of the electrical grid.
- Saskatchewan in Canada has launched Net Metering and Small Power Producers Programs for renewable energy generation produced by consumers.
- Transmission infrastructure includes transmission lines, towers, transformers, and other substation equipment which costs around $8-14 billion per year over the next 25 years. The grid will need $57 billion over the next five years alone (i.e. 2020-2025).
- Canadian Utilities has invested $2 billion in capital growth projects in 2018, of which $1.1 billion was invested in Regulated Utilities and more than $800 million was invested in long-term contracted assets, including Alberta PowerLine.
- According to a recent report released by GlobalData on Global Smart Grid Projections for 2020, the market for national electricity grids is expected to grow globally at a compound annual growth rate of 1.6% by 2022, reaching $14.33 billion.
- The climate action strategies in Canada that include the electrification of industrial activities and the decarbonization of transportation depends on the access to grow certain amounts of electricity which is generated from non-emitting, renewable sources.
- TransAlta, ENMAX and Capital Power Corporation supply power by means of fossil fuels (coal and natural gas) in Alberta; BC Hydro supplies power by use of dams on rivers such as the Columbia and Kootenay in British Columbia; Manitoba Hydro supplies power by use of dams on rives such as the Nelson, Saskatchewan, Laurie and Winnipeg in Manitoba; Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro utilizes hydroelectric generation; Nova Scotia power provides power by thermal fire plants using a mixture of coal, petroleum coke, fuel oil, and natural gas; and SaskPower supplies electricity by use of coal-fired plants in Saskatchewan.
We were not able to provide a list of Canadian utilities that currently experience the highest amount of grid congestion. This is mostly because information involving players and their electricity transmission and distribution is more prominent and the information on grid congestion is very limited. It is not disclosed publicly as they have no obligation to do so, or it could be due to competitive reasons. Below is the deep dive into various strategies adopted to find the information.
We started our search by finding the information in government reports and sources such as The International Institute for Sustainable Development, the American Wind Energy Association, and IEEE Innovation at Work. The idea was to check the information for Canadian utilities in grid congestion. These government sources enumerated the information that electricity generation, transmission, and distribution are either privately or publicly controlled. Canada has launched several grids in the country including Net Metering and Small Power Producers Programs for renewable energy generation produced by consumers. But there was no information available for Canadian utilities that experience the highest amount of grid congestion.
Next, we looked for media news and articles on grid congestion in sources such as Transmission & Distribution World, Diesel Service & Supply, and Electricity Today. But here, the information was also specific to electricity generation and distribution along with consumption in Canada. No Information was available specific to a situation wherein the existing transmission and/or distribution lines are unable to accommodate all required load during periods of high demand or during emergency load conditions.
We broadened the scope and looked for the information in the North American region in the above-mentioned sources. These sources stated the information that the market for national electricity grids is expected to grow globally at a compound annual growth rate of 1.6 % by 2022, reaching $14.33 billion. But the list of North American utilities that experience the highest amount of grid congestion was not mentioned in any of the sources. Later, we looked and searched for the information at a global level as well. We found that worldwide, government entities are working to achieve favorable market conditions for improving electrification rates and grid expansion while supporting the power sector transition. But the list of utilities that experience the highest amount of grid congestion was not mentioned. Thus, this effort was not fruitful as well.
Since there was no pre-compiled information available for the Canada region, we opted to go for a triangulation approach. We first tried to look for the utility companies in Canada and the idea was to identify the grid congestion for them individually. We looked through reports such as Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles in Canada, National Electric Transmission Congestion Study, Canadian Power Generation and Electrical Infrastructure, and Powering Cooperation on Clean Energy & the Environment. The sources mentioned the layout of electricity generation by different provinces in Canada. The Western grid, Eastern grid, and Quebec grid (including Atlantic Canada) comprise the power grid layout for Canada. But no information was available on Canadian utilities for grid congestion. Thus, this strategy did not yield any result. Thus, in the absence of this specific information, we have presented other relevant insights gathered in the course of our search as presented above.