Alberta Electric System Operator

Alberta Electric System Operator

December 04, 2007 16:04 ET

AESO: Albertans Set Winter Power Demand Record

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 4, 2007) - At 6:00 p.m. on Monday, December 3, Alberta's demand for electricity reached an all time high of 9,701 megawatts (MW), breaking last year's record of 9661 MW set on November 28, 2006.

"The heaviest demand for electricity in Alberta typically occurs during the winter," says Warren Frost, Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) vice-president of Operations and Reliability. "A prolonged cold snap, reduced daylight hours and increased lighting are all factors that combine to push demand to record levels."

The AESO's system controllers monitor the electricity grid 24 hours per day, seven days per week, working collaboratively with transmission facility owners and power generation owners to ensure that even during times of high demand, contingency plans are in place and reserves available to meet the electricity demands of all Albertans.

Electricity consumption in Alberta has grown by 28% since 2000 with a year over year load growth of 4.7%. The AESO estimates an additional 5000 MW of electricity by 2017 and 11,500 MW by 2027 will be required to meet the growing electricity demands of Albertans.

Here are ways you can help reduce the demand on the electricity system:

- Run major appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher) during off peak hours (after 7:00 p.m.)

- Turn off unnecessary lights

- Turn off non-essential electrical appliances

- Wait until after the evening electricity rush hour (7:00 p.m.) to turn on outside Christmas lights

- Don't forget to turn Christmas lights off at bedtime

- Connect a timer to your vehicle's block heater

The AESO is Canada's first competitive, customer-focused exchange for electricity. As an independent system operator, the AESO leads the safe, reliable and economic planning and operation of Alberta's interconnected power system. The AESO also facilitates Alberta's fair, efficient and openly competitive wholesale electricity market, which has about 200 participants and approximately $8 billion in annual energy transactions.

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