Recent power failures in Ottawa due to a spring heatwave may be a sign of what’s to come as temperatures spike over the summer. Regulators say that Ontario is the only Canadian province at risk of an energy shortage, which could mean more power outages for consumers over the summer month as they blast their air conditioners during heat waves.
This issue was highlighted in recent CTV News segments and related articles, which point to Ontario’s limited electricity grid capacity as a driving force behind the risk of power failures. However, Brattle Principal Tom Chapman noted that the province’s grid is more resilient than it was two decades ago, when Ontario and parts of the US experienced a massive power blackout. He told CTV News Toronto that while the risk of an energy shortage is “slightly heightened” due to generated outages and potentially bad weather, he doesn’t anticipate mass power outages unless there are extreme circumstances. “We’re in a much more robust situation than we were in 2003,” said Mr. Chapman. “We have more tools in the toolbox to deal with difficult circumstances than we did in the past,” including increased supplies of renewable, nuclear, and hydro-electric power and the possibility of purchasing power from neighboring provinces or the US in case of emergencies.
In a related segment and article for CTV News Ottawa, Mr. Chapman added, “The grid today is in much better shape than it was 20 years ago. There’s been significant investments both on the generation side as well as the network infrastructure side that make such an outage less likely.”