Open Data for PEI Electricity

Regular readers may recall my efforts, starting over a year ago, to have open data about Prince Edward Island electricity load and generation released.

I’m happy to report that the Province of Prince Edward Island has now, at long last, made this available, both in human-readable form with pretty charts and as JSON-formatted raw data.

To grab the raw data, point your clients at this JSON and you’ll get back something like this:

    data1: 152.13,
    data2: 25.58,
    data3: 0,
    data4: 23.3,
    data5: 2.28,
    updateDate: 1340234042,
    error: 0

The values returned are as follows (with explanations courtesy of here):

  • data1 is Total On-Island Load — the amount of electricity required to power lights, motors, appliances and other users of electric energy in PEI.
  • data2 is Total On-Island Wind Generated — the amount of electricity being generated from all wind facilities in the province.
  • data3 is Total On-Island Fossil Fueled Generation — the amount of electricity being generated from oil fired equipment. Typically, this generation is only required when there is an interruption of supply from off Island.
  • data4 is Wind Power Used On-Island — only that portion of the Total Wind Generated that is being used to meet purchase agreements of the province’s two electrical utilities, Maritime Electric Company, Limited (MECL) and City of Summerside Electric Utility.
  • data5 is Wind Power Exported Off-Island — that portion of wind generation that is supplying contracts elsewhere. The actual electricity from this portion of wind generation may stay within PEI but is satisfying a contractual arrangement in another jurisdiction. 
  • updateDate is the unixtime the data was updated (I’m not sure of the schedule, but it’s not real time data).
  • error — I presume this is some sort of error code, but in my experience it’s always been zero (0).

Based on the work I did with Pachube (now Cosm) last year, I’ve created a Cosm Feed for the data, fed by a PHP script that grabs the data and reformats it into either more readable JSON, XML or the Cosm datastream format. 

While we wait around for Maritime Electric or others to enable the “smart grid,” this data can be used, right now, to build intelligence on a DIY level. 

Pull the data from the Cosm feeds for on-island-wind and on-island-load, compare the two, and generate an RSS feed item if the wind generation exceeds the load (meaning we’re getting ALL of our energy from the wind); feed the RSS feed to If This Then That and then build a recipe that turns a Belkin WeMo switch on to make you coffee: voila, you’ve got always-wind-powered-coffee.

The Province is to be lauded for this effort, especially for making the data available in JSON so that it can be re-used elsewhere; it’s a fantastic development, and a nice complement to Prince Edward Island’s Wind Energy Strategy.


Alan HIcken's picture
Alan HIcken on November 7, 2012 - 13:33 Permalink

Thanks @ruk I think its time we had a smart grid wit NB Hydro electric power and PEI Wind generation.


btw love the r u a human game easier than trying to dechiper jumbled words and letters.