The power of Canadian hockey

Here’s a neat little statistic. Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator said that electricity use in the province jumped by 300 megawatts during the Canada-U.S. final on Sunday night, largely because of the number of TV sets that were turned on. Additional 300-megawatt spikes were measured during game intermissions, likely because viewers went to the washroom (after all, flushing the toilet consumes electricity) or opened the fridge to get a beer or threw a bag of popcorn in the microwave. Shortly after Canadian player Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal in sudden-death overtime, the province’s demand profile return to that of a typical Sunday evening.

It’s a perfect example of what managers of the electricity system need to be aware of when trying to balance supply and demand on the grid. It ranges from the weather to what’s on your TV on a given evening.

5 thoughts on “The power of Canadian hockey”

  1. Similar stories of a world cup soccer match involving England (from awhile ago) that caused havoc with their water system. I guess the combination of everybody going to the toilet and making a cup of tea during halftime caused some issues with water supply in parts of the country!

  2. not to nitpick but can you elaborate on how exactly flushing the toilet consumes electricity? Last time I checked mine wasn’t plugged into an outlet 🙂

    an indirect consumption via water hydraulics perhaps?

  3. That’s incredible. I had no idea the spikes were that big, and that they could be tied to specific largescale events. Thanks for that information.

  4. @Marlowe Johnson
    I’m on a well – when I flush the toilet, the well pump often comes on to replenish the water. Lotsa rural folks are on wells. Amazing that that could have a cumulative effect.

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