Alberta Electric System Operator

Alberta Electric System Operator

September 04, 2013 15:42 ET

AESO Issues Public Appeal for Albertans to Reduce Use of Power

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Sept. 4, 2013) - The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is asking all Albertans to reduce their use of electricity.

The situation is due to a combination of high demand, warm weather and limited wind output. In addition, a planned outage on the British Columbia intertie is preventing Alberta from having the ability to import power through its largest interconnection. An unplanned outage in Saskatchewan is also currently limiting our ability to import electricity from the East.

Last week, the AESO forecast that electricity demand would be high. As a result of supply constraints on the grid, a public awareness message was issued to all Albertans asking them to voluntarily conserve energy.

"Our province is currently in a supply shortfall situation," says Mike Law, Vice President of Operations. "We are utilizing reserves to meet demand requirements while we continue to provide a reliable electricity system to Albertans."

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

The AESO is appealing to all Albertans to conserve the amount of energy they are using, especially during the peak hours of 5pm - 7pm. The public can help by conserving energy in the following ways:

  • Turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances;
  • Minimizing the use of air conditioning;
  • Closing blinds, shades or drapes during the hottest part of the day; and,
  • Run major appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher) during off peak hours (after 7 p.m.)

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 in 2012 had 170 participants and approximately $6.4 billion in annual energy transactions.

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