Ask Janet: Why Do You Need to Rent Diesels?

Energy Supply, Reliability

Nov 21, 2017  Comment

Today's question: Why are you having to rent portable diesel generators this winter when just a few years ago you built a new LNG plant? Wasn’t that plant supposed to do away with the use of diesel? Is it because the LNG generators aren’t effective during a power outage?

Thanks for the question. The two LNG generators that were installed two years ago were to replace two diesel units that had reached end of life. That means that the LNG facility didn’t add new capacity; it replaced existing capacity.

Our 2016 Resource Plan identified that if we were in a situation where we lost our largest source of power (our Aishihik hydro plant) during the cold winter months, we would potentially not be able to meet the electricity demand during peak times. While we work to address this gap, we need a short-term solution. That solution, at least for this winter, is for us to rent four diesel generators that can provide eight megawatts of power if needed in an emergency situation.

As for the use of diesel and LNG during power outages, there is a misconception that we can’t use our LNG units during outages. It is true that for brief interruptions in power, it is more efficient for us to use diesel to help with the restoration process. However, for more lengthy outages, we would always use our LNG units first before diesel, since LNG is less expensive, cleaner, and quieter.


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