Alberta Electric System Operator

Alberta Electric System Operator

July 02, 2013 20:45 ET

AESO Lifts Directive to Shed Load and Sets Record Summer Peak for Electricity

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - July 2, 2013) - At 5:41 p.m. today, the AESO lifted its directive to transmission facility owners to shed load. Load shedding is a process of removing demand from the electrical system in order to minimize overall customer outages. A total of 200 MW was shed throughout the province for approximately one hour this afternoon.

The AESO issues this directive in rare instances to balance supply and demand and preserve the reliability of the provincial electric system. The need to shed load was due to a number of factors, including extremely high temperatures across the province and a transformer that unexpectedly went out of service.

Record high temperatures drove Alberta's demand for electricity to an all-time summer high of 10,062 megawatts (MW) during the hour of 4:00 p.m. on July 2, 2013, breaking the previous summer record of 9,885 MW set on July 9, 2012. The all-time record high for Alberta's electricity demand is 10,609 MW set on January 15, 2012.

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 all Albertans.

The AESO extends its thanks to Albertans for their cooperation reducing electricity demands today. Citizens are still encouraged to voluntarily reduce their electricity usage during periods of extreme heat by:

  • 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,
  • Running major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers and washers and dryers 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.

Contact Information

  • Alberta Electric System Operator
    Matt Gray
    Cell: 403-617-5529
    Pager: 403-515-9450