How often does PEI’s wind energy generation exceed our demand for electricity?

A reader writes:

Do you have a stat / graph showing how much of the year we do not use fossil fuel? Are we gaining year over year?

I have been archiving data on Prince Edward Island’s electricity generation and load since November 2013, every 15 minutes (with some gaps in the data when the provincial monitoring feed had technical issues). I’ve archived 160,713 samples to date. Of those samples, in 9,307 (6%) of them did PEI wind energy generation exceed PEI wind energy load, turning the Island into a net energy exporter.

On a year by year basis it looks like this:

Year Total Samples Wind > Load Percentage
2012 4606 214 4.65%
2013 33655 1535 4.56%
2014 34782 1496 4.30%
2015 34867 3040 8.72%
2016 34604 2010 5.81%
2017 18200 1012 5.56%

Note that the “percentage” figure in the table does not represent the “percentage of PEI’s electricity load that was generated from the wind”; what it does represent, simply, is the number of times in a year when, during a 15 minute interval, wind energy generation exceeded load, turning the Island into an energy exporter (and, in theory, making us “zero carbon” for electricity).

The reason this came up in the first place is that this has been a spectacular weekend for wind energy generation on the Island: since 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning wind energy generation (the red line on the chart below) has, with a few short exceptions yesterday afternoon, exceeded electricity load (the green line on the chart), sometimes by as much as 160%.

Graph showing wind energy vs. load for PEI for this weekend

A reminder that you can follow along using the handy mobile-friendly page at pei.consuming.ca or, for more context, this 14 day chart.

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