Electricity demand | The all-time record will be close to Tuesday

With the first real cold of the season, electricity demand on Tuesday will approach the all-time record set by Hydro-Quebec eight years ago.

“All the peak demand management levers that we have are put to use,” said the spokesperson for the Crown corporation, Cendrix Bouchard.

Hydro-Quebec expects its network to supply 38,500 megawatts (MW) to meet the needs of Quebecers between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday. This is very close to the 39,328 MW recorded on January 22, 2014, which constitutes an unprecedented high.

Containment and teleworking have not really reduced peak winter demand, according to the spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec. “Even at home, people kept their routine,” he says. The tip is also pronounced [qu’avant la pandémie], but what has changed is that it is longer, it stretches out a bit over time. ”

Last year at this date, when businesses and most businesses were paralyzed, the peak reached 36,677 MW on 1is February 2021.

Hydro-Québec has new tools to manage the peak of nearly 39,000 MW expected this Tuesday. Dynamic pricing, to which 160,000 customers are subscribing this year, and the Hilo subsidiary, whose number of customers is kept confidential, but which would be “several thousand”, will help reduce pressure on the electricity network.

Greenhouses and cryptocurrency operations are also involved, because their contract provides for the interruption of their electricity supply for a few hours per year between December and March.

These new cutting-edge management methods are in addition to existing programs for large companies and commercial buildings that voluntarily commit to reducing their needs in exchange for financial compensation.

Water heater and electric car

Hydro-Québec is currently developing other peak demand management tools. Its subsidiary Hilo will add water heaters later this year to its range of connected devices, the consumption of which can be reduced automatically during periods of high demand.

Then comes the charging of electric cars, which can be modulated by Hilo according to the needs of the Hydro-Quebec network.

Hilo’s contribution to peak management is expected to increase sharply over the next few years, Hydro predicts, rising from the 28 MW expected this year to 621 MW in 2028-2029.

This winter, by adding these different means, the state-owned company can count on 1,581 MW of peak demand load shedding.

Call for responsible consumption

However, this is insufficient. Electricity purchases on neighboring markets are on the program during certain hours during extremely cold days. This winter, Hydro-Québec has forecast imports of up to 900 MW. The Crown corporation can, however, continue to export to the market spot at certain times, said Cendrix Bouchard, even when demand in Quebec is very high.

For example, on January 3, when the cold pushed Quebec demand to 34,688 MW, net exports reached nearly 4,000 MW.

As it always does on these occasions, Hydro-Quebec on Monday launched an appeal to everyone to reduce electricity consumption over the next few hours.

“Small, simple gestures help, such as lowering the heating by 1 or 2 ℃, postponing the use of large appliances, postponing the recharging of your electric vehicle and reducing the duration of showers by one minute”, says the message broadcast on the social networks.

Leave a Comment