British Columbia exported electricity to Alberta to help it cope with a spike in demand, but these exchanges are limited.
Another measure he would like to see come to fruition is the establishment of more connections with neighboring provinces. Although British Columbia and Saskatchewan helped Alberta during grid alerts, the opportunities for power sharing are really small because of the low number of transmission lines, Wang said.
Between Alberta and Saskatchewan, the exchange is limited to 153 megawatts, approximately 0.1% of the peak consumption of recent days. We must seriously look at whether it is possible to expand this capacity, promised Minister Nathan Neudorf.
This proposal is on the table for years, but it creates a lot of concern, however, underlines Professor Joseph Doucet, of the faculty of administration at the University of Alberta.
There are fears that this could allow British Columbia producers to take advantage of their storage capacity in hydroelectric reservoirs to sell us [electricity] at a higher price when demand is high, he explains. .
Beyond system reliability, measures could also be taken on the demand side. Joseph Doucet thus underlines that financial incentives could be offered to companies to reduce their consumption when the network draws on its reserves.
This could allow the manager of the network to call on these resources rather than considering the potential for general load shedding as we saw on Saturday evening, he underlines.
Jason Wang agrees and cites the possibilities of better distributing demand over time thanks to smart meters. For example, water heaters do not need to heat up just before use. […] If the manager sees that there is going to be a problem with electricity production, he can send a signal to the devices so that these hot water tanks heat up sooner, he explains.
Pilot projects of such demand control mechanisms have been established for electric vehicles. Alberta is lagging behind in this area, however, according to Jason Wang.