Corporate GHG emissions summary

Bar chart of Manitoba Hydro direct GHG emissions.

Manitoba Hydro direct emissions relative to target.
Enlarge image.

We have a voluntary annual corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission target threshold of 520 kilotonnes (kt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), representing GHG emissions 6 per cent below 1990 levels. In the 2016 calendar year, our total direct GHG emissions were 104 kt CO2e, 80 per cent below the target threshold.

GHG emission sources and types

We emit GHGs directly through:

  • thermal power generation;
  • our natural gas transmission and distribution system;
  • fleet vehicles;
  • emissions from insulating gas for electrical equipment (SF6 and CF4);
  • diesel power generation for remote northern communities;
  • natural gas heating in buildings we own.

Electric generation accounted for 41 per cent of the total corporate GHG emissions in 2016, with fleet vehicles and natural gas operations accounting for 22 per cent each.

Our activities result in emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6 and CF4; these GHGs are expressed in CO2e as calculated using their appropriate Global Warming Potential (GWP) factors.

CO2 is the primary GHG emission from our operations, accounting for 75 per cent of total 2016 emissions. CH4 accounted for approximately 21 per cent of 2015 emissions, and N2O, and SF6/CF4 accounted for approximately 1 and 3 per cent respectively.

GHG emission reductions

From a global perspective, the greatest contribution that Manitoba Hydro makes toward GHG emission reductions results from our exports helping to displace fossil fuelled generation in neighbouring states and provinces.

Our low emission intensity makes our exports a valuable resource to help reduce global GHG emissions. When considering incremental changes to electricity consumption through energy efficiency, or fuel switching applications, we evaluate these decisions based on the global GHG consequences.

Our export region is heavily dominated by coal and thus displaced generation will often be coal-fired, with a high emission rate. We currently use a factor of 750 tonnes CO2e/GWh, which reflects an estimate of the incremental GHG emission effects of consumption changes within the broader interconnected regional electricity market.

In 2016, our electricity exports reduced net global GHG emissions by an estimated 8,100 kt of CO2e. According to typical passenger vehicle GHG emission estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing nearly 1.7 million vehicles from the road.

Read more about our GHG emission factors (PDF, 111 KB).

Historical actions to reduce global GHG emissions

We have worked over the years to reduce GHG emissions. Our continued commitment has resulted in:

  • Lowered provincial emissions: In 2016, corporate GHG emissions were 81 per cent below 1990 levels.
  • Reduced global emissions: Our low emission intensity makes our exports a valuable resource to help reduce global GHG emissions. Since 1991, Manitoba Hydro’s operations have helped contribute to the displaced production of approximately 205 million tonnes of CO2e of GHGs globally.
  • Energy conservation: Our Power Smart programs have resulted in annual energy savings of 2,728 GWh of electricity and 103 million cubic meters of natural gas. These energy savings reduce GHG emissions globally by approximately 2 million tonnes of CO2e per year.

GHG reduction milestones: electricity generation

  • completed 200 MW Wuskwatim Generating Station;
  • 138 MW power purchase agreement with St. Joseph Wind Farm;
  • 115.5 MW power purchase agreement with St. Leon Wind Farm;
  • converted Selkirk Generating Station from coal to natural gas;
  • retired 4 coal units at Brandon Generating Station;
  • connected 9 northern diesel communities to our transmission system;
  • completed 1,330 MW Limestone Generating Station.

Read more about our GHG emissions initiatives.