Ask Steph: Why the Diesels?

Energy Supply, Reliability

Apr 12, 2018  3

Today's question: We have been hearing the diesel generators running almost continuously for the past several days (April 10–12, 2018). Why?

Thanks for your question. There are a number of reasons why we are using more diesel and LNG than usual right now.

We have had to do some work at our Aishihik hydro plant over the last couple of days, which meant we didn't have access to all of our units there. Without Aishihik, we have had to use thermal to meet the power demand ... both in the form of LNG and diesel.

Coupled with that is the fact that we have had a low water year at our Mayo watershed. As well, this is the time of year that we have the least amount of water in the Whitehorse system. We look forward to the spring melt when the Whitehorse reservoir will start to fill again.

We expect to have our Aishihik units back online very shortly, and that should reduce the need for our diesels.



by Kelly

Thank you for this quick and thorough answer. I appreciate the circumstances described.


by jean inconneau

Would we be needing to use as much thermal power if September water levels had been maintained in the Southern lakes reservoir?  Why the delay in implementing this much needed change in operating policy, especially since it involves no change in infrastructure?


by jean inconneau

Thanks for that answer. 
Yes I was thinking about all winter long not just at this time of year. 
Regarding the Southern Lakes Enhanced Storage Project, what are the “political concerns that need to be worked through”, and why are we not hearing more about the progress to resolve them in a timely manner?  The delay until 2022 is unreasonable. Implementing this ASAP should be a “no-brainer”.