Grids spark idea

A better inter-provincial infrastructure could pay dividends.

Dear editor:

It’s a shame that the electrical grids in BC and Alberta aren’t better connected. If they were, the people of Alberta probably wouldn’t be suffering through the rolling blackouts they’ve been experiencing lately as a result of record high temperatures. Power demand in Alberta, particularly from air conditioners and farm irrigation equipment, has basically exceeded supply.

Making matters worse, two of Alberta’s major coal-fired generating plants, and one of its natural gas-fired plants, suddenly went offline at the same time as the record high temperatures hit the province, pushing the spot price for electricity in Alberta to around $1000 per megawatt/hour.

Meanwhile, hydro reservoirs in BC are overflowing from record spring rains and snowmelt. That means BC is basically in a position to produce more power than we can use. If our electrical grids were better connected that extra power would go a long way toward covering Alberta’s current energy shortfall.

We certainly can’t control the weather, either here in BC or in Alberta, but we do have some control over our electrical systems and interprovincial cooperation and planning. And who knows, there may come a day when the shoe is on the other foot and we find ourselves needing a top up from Alberta to help keep the lights on in BC.

Sandra Robinson

Maple Ridge

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