Rumours of the decline in electricity demand have been greatly exaggerated. Today, August 10, 2009, Ontario electricity demand will hit its highest level of the year. That’s because it’s a weekday, and temperatures are expected to hit 28 degrees in the Greater Toronto Area, where most Ontarians live. Every air conditioner in the GTA will turn on, and so will every Ontario electricity generator. Or almost.
This is the first time this has happened in 2009. The previous peak demand time was around eleven a.m. on June 25, when Ontario generators were putting just over 22,000 megawatts into the system. They didn’t even come close to this in July.
It is depressing that the easy July seems to be the basis for claims that demand for electricity in Ontario is declining. Maybe today will put a stop to this silliness.
The big question is, will the Bruce 7 nuclear reactor come online today? This machine can put roughly 800 MW of carbon-free baseload power into the system.
Maybe the more important question is, should the unit go online? Remember, we’re talking about emission-free electricity here. Hot muggy days like today are ideal for smog formation. According to all the clean air advocates, fossil generation is a major culprit in smog. So Bruce 7’s 800 MW would offset an equivalent amount of fossil-fired power. Should Bruce 7 come back online? Make sure you vote!