Are the Lights Really Going to Go Out?
RETA issued this news release today to challenge the Premier, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), and transmission facility operators who keep saying “the lights are going to go out” if we don’t build a whole bunch of new high voltage power lines within the next few years. On one hand, Premier Stelmach has been telling the public we need more power and we need more power lines to avoid blackouts. On the other hand, TransAlta has recently shut down 2 of their Sundance generating units (560 MW) and has assured Albertans this will not affect us.
How can shutting down 26% of the Sundance power plant capacity during the coldest period of the year when electricity demand is the highest not affect Albertans, when the Premier says we’re on the verge of “the lights going out”? The Sundance power plant is the largest coal-fired generating plant in Western Canada and supplies 18% of Alberta’s total electricity generation capacity.