Alberta Electric System Operator

Alberta Electric System Operator

July 10, 2012 16:38 ET

Alberta Sets Record Summer Peak in Demand for Electricity

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 10, 2012) - Soaring temperatures drove Alberta's demand for electricity to an all-time summer high of 9,885 megawatts (MW) during the hour of 2 p.m. on July 9, 2012, breaking the previous summer record of 9,552 MW set on July 18, 2011. This increased demand, coupled with the unplanned outage of four coal-fired and two gas-fired generators, created a need to reduce electricity consumption across the province. The all-time record high for Alberta's electricity demand is 10,609 MW set on January 15, 2012.

Demand today is expected to be as high or higher than yesterday. Barring further unplanned loss of generation, the system is expected to have an adequate supply cushion for peak periods.

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 yesterday. However, given the hot temperatures, citizens are still encouraged to voluntarily reduce their electricity usage by:

  • Turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances;
  • Minimizing the use of air conditioning by 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 2011 had about 164 participants and approximately $8 billion in annual energy transactions.

Contact Information

  • Alberta Electric System Operator
    Catherine O'Connell
    Senior External Communication Advisor
    403-539-2846 or Cell: 403-671-6129
    Pager: 403-515-9450