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Old Posted Jan 10, 2014, 9:14 PM
Allan83 Allan83 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Calgary
Posts: 1,410
Originally Posted by MalcolmTucker View Post
The cost of moving around that much power is huge. There is already lots of controversy over increasing Alberta's import capacity from around 7% of peak demand to around 20%. Lots of people fretting over exporting 'our' power from a market with relatively higher prices, to markets with relatively lower prices.

The fact remains, you are paying for two power plants, and the infrastructure to transmit between them, instead of one. So your plants have to be super cheap compared to a local reliable source like a hydro dam.

But to get back on topic, we aren't going to be a literal power house. We will have our massive skilled workforce that specializes in designing, building, and maintaining specialized plants and equipment. We will have a business community that knows how to derive value from those businesses.

There are plenty of businesses with pretty conservative risk models that are making 50 year investments in the province right now. Boom and bust in the oil sands is very difference than from when it was oil and gas juniors out wildcatting. Encana can very easily go from drilling 1800 wells a year for gas to less than 150, but you can't ramp up or down oil sands operations like that (save for issues like the financial crisis and hits to peripheral companies like the BA upgrader)
There would probably be some significant losses as well moving electricity 3,000 kms as well, but maybe something could be done with a DC transition line, which I believe has lower losses. Dunno. A lot depends on how much solar technology improves and how cheap it becomes. If we had enough hydro that could be used with solar as well. You could use solar during the day and hydro at night. I’m not sure how quickly you can turn a gas power plant on and off but maybe that could be used intermittently as well.

I’m sure oil and gas will continue to be strong for quite some time, but I’m also very much in favour of diversifying. We’re knee deep in engineers here, and I think that’s something that can be built on. Maybe we could even induce the Transrapid Maglev people to relocate here? Perhaps as part of a BOOT contract to connect Edmonton and Calgary with a maglev train? I have no idea if that’s even a possibility, but it would be nice if those stars aligned. Then if this one worked well they could build one from Toronto to Montreal, and then develop a more economical system to connect Calgary with Vancouver, and then ...

Last edited by Allan83; Jan 10, 2014 at 9:37 PM.
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