Predicting 5CP with Unpredictable Weather Forecasts

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By Trevor Su

(feature photo by George Hodan,

When last did you listen to the weather forecast, leave your umbrella at home, and then got caught in the rain? Weather forecasts aren’t perfect so how can we mitigate risk and stay prepared?

Double demand peak days are one of those anomalies that can frustrate my customers. One recent example is the violent storm that happened on July 8, 2020 which caused a double peak scenario. Morning temperatures were in the 30’s by 10 am. In early afternoon, a strong storm crossed Southern Ontario, prompting Environment Canada to issue a tornado warning for Toronto.  Due to the thunderstorm, weather forecasters predicted the late afternoon temperature to be 24 degrees. The heat came made a soaring come back at 5 pm, when electricity consumption rose by an incredible 900MW comparing to the hour prior, eventually validating our HE18 peak call prediction.

(photo from the IESO)

(photo from Accuweather)

(photo from Environment Canada)

A double peak like the one on July 8th, is a consequence of variable weather that can’t always be predicted. Some customers are better able to respond in these situations than others. A customized solution will help mitigate risks for customers when considering uncertainties that inherently exist in peak predictions.

How prepared are they? Whether or not they are ready to cope with changing conditions can be determined by asking a few questions. How much lead time do they need?  Can they respond to double peaks? How wide is their curtailment window?  Can they respond to call reversals?  What is the cost of curtailment?  Do they have BTM assets installed?  Battery? Generator? Solar PVs?

This is by no means the complete list of questions. One size does not fit all. By tailoring service delivery to customers based on their profile characteristics, the right plan can help them be prepared. In other words, maybe next time they’ll have them umbrella when it rains.

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