Alberta electricity operator declares Level 1 energy emergency amid historic heat wave

Click to play video: 'Albertans urged to reduce energy usage amid strain on system during heat wave' Albertans urged to reduce energy usage amid strain on system during heat wave
WATCH: Scorching temperatures in Alberta have residents depending on air conditioning to keep cool. Historic energy usage has officials worried about the grid. Jessie Weisner reports – Jun 30, 2021

A Level 1 energy emergency declared by the Alberta Electric System Operator Tuesday afternoon was ended just after 6 p.m., with the agency saying “energy supply is sufficient to meet demand.”

Read more: ‘Historic’ heat wave in Western Canada might not lift for days, forecasters say

The emergency was declared at 4:34 p.m., and was prompted by “the heat wave driving higher demand and a decline in available generation.”

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The entire province remained under a heat warning by Environment and Climate Change Canada on Tuesday, with temperatures reaching upwards of 35 C in Calgary and 37 C in Edmonton and Lethbridge.

Overnight lows in most of the province were only expected to dip as low as 20 C, offering little relief.

On Monday, AESO said Alberta had surpassed the previous record for electricity use, as people cranked their air conditioning units and fans in hopes of cooling off. The agency said people used 11,512 megawatts of energy throughout the day.

Read more: Alberta eclipses previous summer peak electricity use record Monday

Earlier on Tuesday, AESO tweeted it expected the record to be broken again.

At the start of the heat wave on Sunday, the agency tweeted: “The grid is in good shape! Temperatures are beginning to rise and our system controllers continue to monitor the grid.”

Officials asked that Albertans conserve electricity during the peak hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“In addition to helping conserve energy during this peak period, we’re asking Albertans to take action throughout the day by closing window coverings, lowering thermostats to pre-cool homes and avoiding using major appliances and charging electric devices, including electric vehicles, during the period of highest demand,” AESO said in a news release Tuesday.


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