An analysis of wind power generation in Alberta found that despite the province’s 44 wind farms, they managed to only produce 0.3% of their total capacity on Wednesday night.
This is according to the outlet Pipeline Online, which tracks wind power generation on a regular basis.
Data from the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) showed that wind power output dropped to as low as 14 megawatts out of the 4,420 megawatts total capacity on Wednesday night.
That means only 0.3% of the available wind power was being generated.
Solar power was also at zero output, as expected during nighttime hours, out of 1,470 megawatts.
The combined output of wind and solar was therefore 0.2% of maximum capacity.
The situation did not improve much in the early morning hours, as wind power remained below 100 megawatts until 8 a.m. on Thursday.
At 7:02 a.m., wind power produced 39 megawatts, or 0.9%. Solar power reached zero, as the sun had not risen yet.
The combined output of both renewable energy sources at that time was 39 megawatts. Both sources have a total capacity of 5,890 megawatts, meaning they were operating at 0.7% of capacity.
These numbers are remarkable given the recent expansion of wind farms and solar energy in Alberta.
In the past few months, the province added 802 megawatts of wind power capacity.
Renewable energy sources like wind and solar have been cited as being increasingly unreliable.
The Alberta government has temporarily halted the progress of all wind and solar energy projects, attributing the decision to the necessity of reevaluating project locations and their potential impact on the province’s electrical grid.
Despite assertions from companies in the application stage that they were caught off guard by the abrupt suspension, provincial officials maintain that advance warnings were provided.