02-Oct-2016

Showing real-time electricity generation with Today's Power

You asked, and we delivered. In spring of 2016, we launched Today’s Power. Today’s Power is a customized section of our website that shows real-time information about Nova Scotia Power’s electricity generation – specifically renewable generation. A series of daily, even hourly, updated graphs help give you a snapshot of where your electricity is coming from.

With data refreshing every day, keep up-to-date on Nova Scotia Power’s energy generation, including wind power, and see for yourself how the peak power load changes with the seasons. To check it out and find more information on our renewable goals visit www.nspower.ca/todayspower.  

We intended for this site to give answers, but also spark more interest in the electricity you’re using. Here are a couple of comments we've gotten the opportunity to weigh in on:

Amount of fossil fuel used is going down and renewable energy is going up, yet power prices keep increasing...

We’ve made major changes in the way we generate electricity, growing over the past decade from 9% renewable to 27% last year, mostly because of the new wind power we’ve added to the grid. We know it’s the right thing to do, but investing in renewable energy is costly. To give you an idea of the costs involved, it was $200 million to build the South Canoe wind farm (34 turbines that generate about 100 MW) with our partners Minas Basin and Oxford Frozen Foods. We buy most of our wind power from independent producers over long-term contracts with locked-in prices, which helps provide predictable electricity rates for customers. This year, the price of electricity actually went down slightly for residential customers and we have a rate agreement in place until 2019 that sees rates increasing each year less than the rate of inflation. If you’d like the details of the rate agreement, visit: www.nspower.ca/ratestability.

71% of our energy is from coal. Hopefully the electricity from Labrador will reduce this percentage.

We’re happy to see your interest. One of the reasons we are sharing Today’s Power is to show the complexity of our system and how much it changes – from day to day and even hour to hour.

You’re exactly right – if you tab over to our 2020 Forecast you’ll see we expect coal to be only 38% of our generation and hydro/tidal to be 20% largely due to hydroelectricity from Muskrat Falls. This hydro will help us balance out our fluctuating wind – check out the 30 Days of Wind Generation to see how inconsistent it can be. Wind was nearly 40% Tuesday morning at 6 am!

When you checked this morning, hydro was quite low, but if you tab over to our Year-to-Date generation, you’ll see it’s much higher (17%). We tend to run higher levels of hydro in the winter and then even higher levels in spring due to the high levels of available water (spring melt, spring rains, etc.). We are now starting to see lower hydro levels because it’s getting drier and we (normally) see less rain. We take advantage of this low time to perform our hydro system maintenance.

Thanks again for your interest. We do hope you check back and let us know what else you’d like to see.

Do you have a question about the electricity you’re using? Would you like to see something else added to Today’s Power? Tell us. You can reach us through the feedback form at the bottom of the Today’s Power page.