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Glossary

AECL
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Affiliated Power Producer

A company that generates power and is affiliated with a utility.

Alternating Current (AC)

A current that flows alternately in one direction and then in the reverse direction. In North America, the standard for alternating current is 60 complete cycles each second. Such electricity is said to have a frequency of 60 hertz. Alternating current is used in power systems because it can be transmitted and distributed more economically than direct current.

Base Load
The minimum continuous load over a given period of time. Base load generating stations operate essentially at full output whenever possible.

BES
Bulk Electricity System

 

BLIERs
Base Level Industrial Emission Requirements

 

British Thermal Unit (Btu)
A unit of heat. The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Bulk Electricity
Large amounts of electric power at transmission voltages, generally to run industrial plants and operations.

Bundling Electricity
Combining the costs of generation, transmission and distribution and other services into a single rate charged to the retail customer.

 

CAIDI
Customer Average Interruption Duration Index

 

CAIFI
Customer Average Interruption Frequency Index

 

CAMPUT
Canadian Association of Members of Public Utility Tribunals

 

CANDU
Canadian Deuterium Uranium

CanWEA
Canadian Wind Energy Association

 

Capacity
In the electric power industry, capacity has two meanings:
1. System Capacity: The maximum power capability of a system.
For example, a utility system might have a rated capacity of 5000 megawatts, or might sell 50 megawatts of capacity.
2. Equipment Capacity: The maximum power capability of piece of equipment. For example, a generating unit might have a rated capacity of 50 megawatts.

Capacity Factor
For any equipment, the ratio of the average load during a defined time period to the rated capacity.

 

CCS
Carbon Capture and Storage

 

CDM
Conservation and Demand Management

 

CEA
Canadian Electricity Association

CEATI
Centre for Energy Advancement through Technological Innovation

 

CIGRE
International Conference on Large High Voltage Electric Systems

CI
Critical Infrastructure

 

CIP
Critical Infrastructure Protection

 

CIS
Customer Information System

 

CMI
Complex Metering Infrastructure

 

CNA
Canadian Nuclear Association

CSA
Canadian Standards Association

 

Cogeneration
The simultaneous production of power and thermal energy.
Such systems have great potential in industry, where a significant requirement for electricity is coupled with a large demand for process steam.

Consumption
Use of electrical energy, typically measured in kilowatt hours.

Conventional Generation
Electricity that is produced at a generating station where the prime movers are driven by gases or steam produced by burning fossil fuels.

Coordination
Polling of resources, loads and/or joint reservoir management between utilities to allow more efficient operation of existing dams and reservoirs.

 

CPP
Clean Power Plan (U.S.A.)

 

Current
The flow of electricity in a conductor. Current is measured in amperes.

Demand Charge
The component of a two-part price for electricity that is based on
a customer's highest power demand reached in a specified period, usually a month, regardless of the quantity of energy used (e.g., $2.00 per kilowatt per month). The other component of the two-part price is the energy charge.

Demand Response (DR)
Demand Response is a resource for controlling electricity consumption at times of peak demand. Consumers reduce or shift their electricity usage during peak periods in response to price signals and financial incentives.

 

Demand Sales
A producer agrees to make generating capacity available to a buyer when it is called upon or 'demanded'.

Direct Current (DC)
Current that flows continuously in the same direction (as opposed to alternating current). The current supplied from a battery is direct current.

Economy Energy
Energy sold by one power system to another, to effect a saving in the cost of generating when the receiving party has adequate capacity to supply the loads from its own system.

Economic Dispatch
A process allowing members of a power pool to buy and sell excess energy amongst themselves to maximize the efficiency of generation and transmission facilities.

Edison Electric Institute
Association of investor-owned utilities in the U.S. Foreign and non-investor utilities can join as affiliate members.

Electrical Energy
The quantity of electricity delivered over a period of time. The commonly used unit of electrical energy is the kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Electrical Power
The rate of delivery of electrical energy and the most frequently used measure of capacity. The basic unit is the kilowatt (kW).

ELF
Extremely Low Frequency

 

EMF
Electric and Magnetic Fields

 

Energy Charge
The component of a two-part price for electricity which is based on the amount of energy taken (e.g, 20 mills per kWh). The other component of the price is the demand charge.


Energy Efficiency (EE)
Energy efficiency, or efficient energy use, is a way of managing and restraining growth in energy consumption. Its goal is to reduce and/or maximize the amount of energy required to deliver services.

 

Energy Sales
An agreement by a selling utility to provide a buyer with a designated amount of electricity over a definite period of time.

Energy Source
The primary source that provides the power that is converted to electricity. Energy sources include coal, petroleum and petroleum products, gas, water, uranium, wind, sunlight, geothermal, and other sources.

Environmental Impact
Any alteration to the environment caused by man and affecting human, animal, fish and/or plant life.


EPA
Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.A.)

 

EPRI
Electric Power Research Institute (U.S.A.)

ERIS
Equipment Reliability Information System

 

ESCC
Electricity Sub-Sector Coordinating Council (U.S.A.)

 

EVs
Electric Vehicles

 

Exchange
The transfer and return of electricity from one utility to another at different time periods or seasons to achieve a more economic or efficient overall system operation. Such transfers are possible because of differences in electricity demand, generation resource capability or system operating characteristics.

Extra High Voltage (EHV)
Any transmission voltage higher than 345 kV.

Firm Energy or Power
Electrical energy or power intended to be available at all times during the period of the agreement for its sale.

FERC
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (U.S.A.)

Frequency

The number of cycles through which an alternating current passes in a second. The North American standard is 60 cycles per second, known as 60 hertz.

FT
Firm transportation.

Gigawatt (GW)
One billion watts. (see Watt)

Gigawatt hour (GW.h)
A unit of bulk energy. One million kilowatt hours. One billion watt hours.

Generation
The process of converting thermal, mechanical, chemical or nuclear energy into electric energy.

GHG
Greenhouse Gas

 

Grid
A network of electric power lines and connections.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The total value of goods and services produced in Canada. GDP measured in constant dollars is defined as Real GDP.

Gross National Product (GNP)
The total value of production of goods and services measured at market prices.

Hertz (Hz)

The unit of frequency for alternating current. Formerly called cycles per second. The standard frequency for power supply in North America is 60 Hz.

IEA

International Energy Agency

IEEE
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

 

IEIA
International Electricity Infrastructure Assurance

 

IGCC
Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle

ISO
Independent System Operator

Installed Capacity
The capacity measured at the output terminals of all the gene-rating units in a station, without deducting station service requirements.

Interconnected System
A system consisting of two or more individual power systems connected together by tie lines.

Interruptible Energy or Power
Energy or power made available under an agreement that permits curtailment or interruption of delivery at the option of the supplier.

Intertie (Interutility Tieline)
Transmission circuit used to tie or inter-connect two load areas of two utility systems.

Investor Owned Utility (IOU)
Utility that is structured as a tax-paying business financed through sales of common stock.

Independent Power Producer (IPP)

A privately owned power generating facility which may be connected to a utility system to supply electricity for domestic or export markets.

IREQ
Institut de Recherche d'Hydro-Québec

Joule
The international unit of energy. The energy produced by a power of one watt flowing for one second. The joule is a very small unit: there are 3.6 million joules in a kilowatt hour.

Kilovolt (kV)

1000 volts

Kilowatt (kW)
The commercial unit of electric power; 1000 watts. A kilowatt can best be visualized as the total amount of power needed to light ten 100 watt light bulbs.

Kilowatt hour (kWh)
The commercial unit of electric energy; 1000 watt hours. A kilowatt hour can best be visualized as the amount of electricity consumed by ten 100-watt light bulbs burning for an hour. One kilowatt hour is equal to 3.6 million joules.

Load
The total amount of electricity required to meet customer demand at any moment. The load equation fluctuates depending on electricity use throughout any given day.

Load Factor
The ratio of the average load during a designated period to the peak or maximum load in that same period. Usually expressed in per cent.

Load Forecast
The anticipated amount of electricity required by customers
in the future.

Mcf
One thousand cubic feet.

MMcf
One million cubic feet.

MEA
Municipal Electric Association.

Megawatt (MW)
A unit of bulk power; 1000 kilowatts.

Megawatt hour (MW.h)

A unit of bulk energy; 1000 kilowatt hours


Microgrid
A microgrid is a localized grid that can be disconnected from the traditional centralized grid and operate autonomously.

 

Mill
1/1000 of a dollar.

NEB
National Energy Board

NERC
North American Electric Reliability Council

Net Exports
Total exports minus total imports.

Non-utility Generator (NUG)

An electricity producer which does not have a mandate or obligation to supply electricity to the public.

NRC
National Research Council

NRCan
National Resources Canada

 

Nuclear Power
Power generated at a station where the steam to drive the turbines is produced by an atomic process, rather than by burning a combustible fuel such as coal, oil or gas.

OT
Operational Technology

 

PBR
Performance-based rates.

PCB
Polychlorinated Biphenyl

 

PLT
Power Line Technician

 

Peak Demand
The maximum power demand registered by a customer or a group of customers or a system in a stated period of time. The value may be the maximum instantaneous load or more, usually the average load over a designated interval of time, such as one hour, and is normally stated in kilowatt or megawatts.

Power Demand
The maximum power demand registered by a customer or a group of customers or a system in a stated period of time. The value may be the maximum instantaneous load or more, usually the average load over a designated interval of time, such as one hour, and is normally stated in kilowatts or megawatts.

Power
The rate of doing work. Electric power is measured in watts.

Power Pool
Two or more interconnected electric systems that coordinate planning and maintenance and supply power reliably and economically to meet their combined load requirements.

Power Marketer
A company that buys and resells power.

Power System
The interconnected facilities of an electrical utility. A power system includes the generation, transmission, distribution, transformation, and protective components necessary to provide service.

 

QER
Quadrennial Energy Review (U.S.A.)

Reserve Generating Capacity
The extra generating capacity required on any power system over and above the expected peak load. Such a reserve is required mainly for two reasons: (i) in case of an unexpected breakdown of generating equipment; (ii) in case the actual peak load is higher than forecast.

 

SAIDI
System Average Interruption Duration Index

 

SAIFI
System Average Interruption Frequency Index

 

Secondary Energy Consumption
The amount of energy available to, and used by, the consumer in its final form.

Self-Generation
Generation of electricity by a customer for their own use.

Short Term Trade
Electricity trade of varying duration that involves only surplus electricity from existing generating and transmission facilities.

STDC
Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Stranded costs/investment

Utility assets that would lose value in a competitive market.

TerraWatt Hours (TW.h)

One billion kilowatt hours.

Transformer

An electromagnetic device for changing the voltage of alternating electricity.

Transmission

The process of transporting electric energy in bulk on high
voltage lines from the generating facility to the local distribution company for delivery to retail customers.

Unbundled
The separate pricing and provision of electricity service independent of equipment cost or charge.

Vertical Dissagregation
Separating electric generation, transmission and distribution functions of a utility into separate companies.

Voltage
The electrical force or potential that causes a current to flow in a circuit (just as pressure causes water to flow in a pipe). Voltage is measured in volts (V) or kilovolts (kV). 1 kV = 1000 V.

Watt
The scientific unit of electric power; a rate of doing work at the rate of one joule per second. A typical light bulb is rated 25, 40, 60 or 100 watts. A horse power is 746 watts.

WEC

World Energy Council

Wheeling
The transmission of electric energy generated by one party to another using the transmission system of a third party. The wheeler does not own, generate or purchase the electricity being transported.