Less than 24 hours after a grid alert advising Albertans that the province’s power system was under strain, the entity responsible for issuing such warnings issued a new alert on Wednesday afternoon.
At 4:18 p.m., the Alberta Electric System Operator said the province was “preparing to use emergency reserves to meet demand and maintain system reliability” and called on Albertans to temporarily cut back their energy consumption until the system can return to balance.
At 5:28 p.m., AESO said it had lifted the alert.
AESO did not say what prompted Wednesday’s alert.
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The organization said Tuesday’s alert, which remained in effect for about two-and-a-half hours, was primarily triggered because of the combination of an unexpected generator outage and a planned outage of the Alberta-B.C. interconnection, which meant Alberta could not import electricity to make up the shortfall.
Stress on the power system has been felt in Alberta during cold snaps and heat waves in recent years. The fact the grid alerts were issued in the fall concerned Blake Shaffer, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Calgary.
“The fact that we’re at risk of a supply shortfall here in September — through a confluence of reasons — is alarming,” he told Global News on Wednesday.
“It’s something that should be raising questions.”