April 9, 2024

ENMAX works toward more resilient grid through partnership with University of Regina on climate model


Calgary, Alta. – ENMAX Corporation is preparing for the future and working to build a more resilient grid through the development of a regional climate model under a three-year partnership with the University of Regina.

The climate model, developed by the university’s Prairie Adaptation and Research Collaborative (PARC), will be specific to ENMAX’s infrastructure in southern Alberta and will generate a set of climate change projections that will help ENMAX evaluate the likelihood of specific climate change hazards that pose potential risks to energy production, transmission and distribution in Alberta.

“As our climate changes and extreme weather events become more severe and frequent, having the information to better build a resilient electricity system is essential,” said Mark Poweska, ENMAX President and CEO. “Climate change projections provided by the research project will be used to forecast electricity demand and the investment required to ensure safe, reliable and sustainable electricity in the future.”

Led by Dr. David Sauchyn, director of PARC and professor of geography and environmental studies at the University of Regina, the project supports ENMAX’s commitment to sustainability – adapting to a changing climate while ensuring continued access to safe and reliable energy.

There are three key objectives:

  • Generate a set of climate change projections to evaluate the likelihood of specific climate change hazards with potential risk to energy production and transmission in Alberta.
  • Train staff at ENMAX to apply the results of the modelling to the annual assessment of physical climate risk so the information produced by the model can be used effectively and the results can apply to ENMAX business planning.
  • Produce regional hydroclimatic dynamic to better understand water flow in the area and the risk of flood or drought and its effect on electricity production and demand.

“There is a significant gap in the data required to properly assess climate-related risks in the energy sector. My team’s research will help generate the necessary information enabling ENMAX to create meaningful strategies to minimize the impact of our changing climate.” said Sauchyn. “This proactive investment by ENMAX is a great example of how planned actions can help companies adapt to climate change, and thus work to counter its costly consequences in Canada.”

The funding for the project is provided by ENMAX with contributions from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Mitacs, a nonprofit national research organization.

About Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative

PARC is a climate service and research centre located at the University of Regina that practitioners and policy makers rely on for data, information, knowledge and training to develop science-based climate policy and plans for adaption to climate change. PARC assists communities and industries in the Prairie Provinces to achieve resilience and sustainability in a changing climate.