‘Grid alert’ issued as temperatures plummet in Alberta

Click to play video: 'Freezing temperatures factor in Alberta ‘grid alert’'
Freezing temperatures factor in Alberta ‘grid alert’
WATCH: On Tuesday a ‘grid alert’ was issued by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) due to a number of pressures on the province’s power grid, including the extreme cold. As Tracy Nagai reports, officials are asking people to be mindful of their electricity use especially during the peak hours between 4 and 7 p.m – Nov 30, 2022

On Tuesday, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), which operates the provincial power grid, issued an alert as temperatures continued to drop in parts of the province.

The company tweeted that there were a number of factors that led to the grid alert.

“Due to cold weather, low wind conditions, generator derates, power reductions and an unplanned outage, the AESO declared a Grid Alert at 4:47 p.m.,” it said. “Supply is tight but still meeting demand.”

According to its website, the AESO issues a grid alert when the power system is under stress and preparing to use emergency reserves to meet demand.

Click to play video: 'Cold snap putting Alberta’s power grid to the test'
Cold snap putting Alberta’s power grid to the test

“During a Grid Alert, the AESO takes a variety of actions to maintain reliability, including using emergency reserves, reducing or suspending exports or energy sales, cancelling transmission maintenance, implementing voluntary curtailment programs and requesting emergency imports.

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“As the last option to maintain reliability, the AESO can initiate temporary rotating power outages.”

In a release the organization said there are a number of things that people can do in order to conserve electricity, especially between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., which include;

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  • Turn off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances
  • Minimize the use of air conditioning/space heaters
  • Delay the use of major power-consuming appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers until after peak hours
  • Use cold water for washing clothes—most of the energy used goes to heating the water (only running full loads helps too)
  • Delay charging electric vehicles and/or plugging in block heaters
  • Cook with your microwave, crockpot or toaster oven instead of the stove
  • Limit the use of kitchen or bathroom ventilation fans
  • Use motion-detector lights in storage areas, garages, and outdoors when possible
  • Work on a laptop instead of a desktop computer (laptops are more energy-efficient than desktop units)

The organization posted about an hour later at 6:05 p.m. that it had returned to normal grid conditions.

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