On Tuesday, the Crown corporation released its first-ever Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which not only predicts a significant increase in electrical demand, but also that new sources of energy could be needed in the next decade.
“Right now, what [our customers] are telling us, with the climate change objectives, with federal policy, provincial policies, is they see using electricity much more in the future than they do today,” said president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro Jay Grewal.
“And our current, where we’re at now, our customers have told us through all this consultation and engagement over the last two years, they’re going to want and need more than 2.5 times the electricity than we have in the province today.”
The IRP indicates that the move towards low or no-carbon energy sources will accelerate the need for clean electricity, which will require significant investments. Some of the clean energy measures Hydro is looking at for the future include wind generation and energy efficiency.
The report also found that Manitoba is in a good position as it prepares for the future due to its hydroelectric system, which delivers around 97 per cent of the yearly electricity. However, the province’s existing supply is limited, so other electrical energy sources will be needed.
“Something Manitobans may not realize is, we are in such a privileged province, because 97 per cent of the electricity produced in Manitoba today is net zero,” Grewal said.
The IRP is the result of a two-year development process that involved multiple rounds of engagement with customers and other interested parties. The IRP is not a development plan, but rather outlines how Manitoba Hydro will monitor, prepare and respond to the changes in the energy landscape.
“We spoke with over 15,000 of our customers, whether they’re residential, commercial, industrial, industry associations, regulators, government – across the board, we talked with our customers,” said Grewal.
“And what we did was through this work, we understood what our customers are anticipating using electricity for going forward.