This article was published by the Canada Energy Regulator on Jan. 8, 2020.
Around 50 companies have permits from the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) to export Canadian electricity. Canadian generators, their subsidiaries, and other companies all export electricity to the U.S.Footnote1
In 2010, 54 companies sold 44 terawatt-hours (TW.h) of electricity to U.S. markets. In 2019, as of October, nearly 50 companies sold 50 TW.h.Footnote2 Figure 1 shows the volumes exported by each company.
The largest exporters tend to be provincial crown corporations that also generate electricity, such as Hydro Québec or Manitoba Hydro, or their subsidiaries, such as Powerex Corp. (a subsidiary of BC Hydro).
In general, companies export electricity to the U.S. when prices are higher. The relatively large number of Canadian entities exporting electricity to the U.S. relies on significant integration between Canadian and U.S. electricity markets. Canadian electricity trade with U.S. markets is greater than provincial trade.
Figure 2 breaks down electricity exports to the U.S. by province. Most of Canada’s electricity is exported from provinces with significant hydro and/or nuclear generation capacity. Over 70 per cent of exports are from Quebec and Ontario alone.
Electricity trade data, including volumes exported by company and province, are published by the CER in Commodity Statistics.
- Volumes by exporting company and province are in Commodity Statistics, “Table 2A – Exports Summary Report by Source, Authorization and Exchange Type”.
- In comparison, Canada consumes around 540 TW.h of electricity a year (Canada’s Energy Future 2019 data: End-use Demand).