IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - 56

figure 8. Fuel transportation to RCs is an expensive operation since resources are mainly flown in (photo courtesy of
Oliver Johnson).

1,200

Power (kW)

1,000
800
600
400
200

Ja
n
Fe .
b.
M
ar
Ap .
M r.
ay
Ju .
ne
Ju
l
Au y
g.
Se
p
O .
ct
N .
ov
D .
ec
.

0
Month
Community A
Community C

Community B
Community D

figure 9. Annual load profile examples for selected
remote communities across Canada.

Fuel Consumption (Million L/ Year)

80.0
70.0

Heavy Oil
Diesel

60.0

Electricity Demand and
Fuel Consumption

50.0
40.0
30.0
20.0
10.0
0
AB BC MB NL NT NU ON QC SK YT
Province/Territory

figure 10. Fuel consumption for electricity generation, by
province and territory.
56

differences; the following list, however, presents the common characteristics among the various facilities and their
operation that contribute to these high energy costs:
✔ Approximately 90% of the diesel engines in operation in
rcs have a capacity in the range of 100 kw to 3 mw.
most rcs have three to five diesel engines installed at
their generation facilities. the specific sizes depend
on the operational strategy of the utility. some utilities
operate the units in parallel, where the diesel generators
have similar rated capacities. others operate mainly with
a single-unit strategy; in this case, the diesel generators
have various rated capacities, ranging from the expected
minimum to maximum load for the community.
✔ the rated plant capacities of the diesel generation
facilities are typically 40-60% of the sum of the
capacities of the in-house generation equipment (total
installed capacity). All utilities have contingency
plans so as to keep operating in the event of the failure
of a unit; if required, load shedding is an alternative.
✔ there are several factors that affect diesel engine efficiency, such as preventive maintenance, diesel fuel quality, and engine loading. in rcs, these factors likely play
a major role, which creates significant variation across
facilities. the diesel fuel efficiency (to electric energy)
range is 2.4-3.9 kwh/liter, with a 3.5-kwh/liter average. in the case of the heavy fuel oil plant in the Îles-dela-madeleine, the fuel efficiency is 4.6 kwh/liter.
✔ the sources of electrical losses are difficult to determine,
and variation in the amount of loss across different utilities is significant. Based on the information provided by
the utilities, the losses range from 5% to 20%.
✔ fuel supply channels vary significantly across n&rcs
mainly due to access restrictions, seasonal variables,
and fuel storage capacity. Access to these n&rcs
is provided by a combination of road (year-round or
winter-only), rail, barge, and air options. some communities are able to store a full year's supply of fuel
in local tanks while others can only store enough fuel
on-site to satisfy a few months' worth of demand (see
figures 7 and 8).

ieee power & energy magazine

the electricity demand and consumption profile of n&rcs
differs significantly from that for the on-grid systems in each
province. thus, in 2012, countrywide electricity consumption,
excluding the territories, was 8.7-25 mwh/year per capita,
while the estimated range for n&rcs for which information
was available was 2.8-18 mwh/year per capita. this wide
range also applies to the electric load profile, which presents
significant differences across communities (see figure 9).
some of the reasons for the wide range probably include the
type and quantity of electrical loads serviced, cutoff rates
(see next section), daylight hours, local industry development (e.g., mining and fisheries), and seasonal services. this
july/august 2014



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover3
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