Facilities & operations
About 96% of the electricity we produce is clean, renewable power generated at 15 hydroelectric generating stations on the Nelson, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Burntwood and Laurie rivers.
The province’s remaining electricity needs are fulfilled by:
- 2 thermal generating stations;
- 4 remote diesel generating stations;
- wind power purchases from independent wind farms in Manitoba.
Electricity transmission & distribution
We deliver 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity over 18,000 km of transmission lines and 68,000 km of distribution lines on average every year.
Our transmission system moves electricity from generating stations around the province in a range from 24 kilovolts (kV) to 500 kV. Major high voltage transmission lines operate at 115 kV, 138 kV, 230 kV, and 500 kV. The voltage is then reduced by large transformers at terminal stations to 66 kV, 33 kV or 24 kV.
Our distribution system is a network of power lines with overhead and underground conductor cables, transformer stations, transformers, voltage regulators, and oil circuit reclosers. It reduces higher voltages to useable levels – down to 120 V for our homes – and maintains a constant supply of power and steady voltage levels. Energy use varies throughout the day and can increase as much as 65% from summer to winter.
We operate alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) transmission systems:
- AC is an electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals, or alternates from positive to negative, approximately 60 times a second. Most of the electricity used in the world is AC.
- DC is an electric current that flows in one direction. For long-distance transmission, power losses are considerably less with DC than with AC.
At a generating station, the turbine generators produce AC electricity. If travelling a long distance, we convert the electricity to DC at a convertor station close to the generating station. The electricity travels to another convertor station where we change it back to AC through an inversion process. AC electricity is then transmitted through our distribution network to our customers.
To learn more about Canada’s electricity industry visit the Power for the Future website.
Natural gas transmission & distribution
We deliver over a billion cubic metres of natural gas to 130 communities across southern Manitoba on average every year. Nearly 100% of that natural gas is brought in from Alberta by a main-line transmission pipeline owned by TransCanada Pipelines Limited (TCPL).
Natural gas is propelled along 10,180 km of natural gas transmission pipelines at pressures of 200 to 1,000 pounds per square inch (psi). To keep it moving, the natural gas is compressed periodically as it flows through pipelines by compressor stations. These stations are located along the TCPL at intervals of approximately 160 km.
When natural gas is moved into distribution pipelines to be delivered to homes and businesses, the pressure is lowered to 60 psi at a regulating station. Before delivery we add mercaptan to help us find possible leaks as it adds a bad smell – like rotten eggs – to the odourless natural gas.
For more information about our facilities and operations, contact us.