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Industrial Innovation

Enabling Our Modern Way of Life - Power

May 25, 2021

Author: Bik Sidhu

The power industry has been central to the growth of our modern, electrified world. Access to reliable and affordable electricity has been vital to the growth of our societies and economies.

In Western Canada, electric power generation started with hydroelectric dams built in the early 1900s. Some of these are still in operation today. In the hydro resource rich region of British Columbia, this has remained the dominant source of electricity. However, in Alberta and Saskatchewan, coal became the leader in baseload generation due to the ample local supply and the emergence of steam turbine technology in the 1950s and 1960s.

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With the development of the vast natural gas resources in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, gas-fired combustion turbines started entering our electric power generation mix. Some of the first installs were in Medicine Hat, Alberta, also known as the Gas City. Such natural gas fired power plants are being used for cogeneration of electricity and steam across various industrial facilities including oilsands, potash mines, petrochemical plants as well as hospitals and arenas.

Today, much of our baseload coal-fired power is being retired or getting converted to burning natural gas to reduce the carbon footprint. Considerable technological advancements in zero emission sources, like wind and solar, have made them a significant part of our electric power generation mix.
 

Change and demands on the electric power generation industry have forced our power plants to become more agile in their operation while maintaining a highly competitive cost structure.
Bik Sidhu, Author
Our local electric power generation industry is evolving at a rapid pace leading to change at a scale, which hasn’t been previously witnessed in our region. At the same time, demand for electricity, especially low-emission electricity, continues to rise driven by the proliferation of technology across all parts of our society and economy as well as the growing electrification of our transportation and industrial sectors. Such change and demands on the electric power generation industry have forced our power plants to become more agile in their operation while maintaining a highly competitive cost structure.
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More often, our power plants rely on technology to help bridge such gaps by automating complex plant operations and better integrating the consumer to producer value chain of the electricity markets. At Spartan Controls, we help our electric power generation customers deliver on their promise of clean, reliable, and affordable electricity. Our large portfolio of products and solutions help improve the performance and reliability of a wide variety of power plant processes such as hydro governors, gas & steam turbines, heat recovery steam generators and cooling towers. From managing a large historian for a grid operator, to controlling the operation of our largest combined cycle power plant, our local team of experts helps ensure the electricity industry in Western Canada continues to power the growth of our society and economy.     
Our large portfolio of products and solutions help improve the performance and reliability of a wide variety of power plant processes.
Bik Sidhu
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Power/Energy Industry Leader
Bik Sidhu
Power/Energy Industry Leader

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