Facilities & operations
About 96% of the electricity we produce is clean, renewable power generated at 16 hydroelectric generating stations on the Nelson, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Burntwood and Laurie rivers.
The province’s remaining electricity needs are fulfilled by:
- 1 thermal generating station;
- 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 11,045 km of transmission lines and 75,320 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 around 2 billion cubic metres of natural gas to 130 communities across southern Manitoba every year. Most of that natural gas is brought in from Western Canada by a gas transportation pipeline owned by TransCanada Pipelines Limited (TCPL).
Natural gas is transferred into our system, comprised of 10,700 km of transmission and distribution pipelines, at several points along the TCPL pipeline. When natural gas is distributed to homes and businesses on our system, the pressure is first lowered at a regulating station.
We add mercaptan to the natural gas stream once it enters our system to help us find possible leaks. Mercaptan adds a bad smell – like rotten eggs – to the odourless natural gas.
For more information about our facilities and operations, contact us.