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.