On Monday, July 8,  at 8:25 p.m. the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) declared a grid alert. System conditions returned to normal due to a drop in demand just over an hour later. The Grid Alert ended on Monday, July 8, 2024, at 9:34 p.m.

"An unplanned thermal generation outage, high temperatures causing a reduction in some generator capability, and a line outage that impacted import capability contributed to the supply shortfall that caused the alert," stated AESO.

July 8 was an example of an alert with tight supply conditions, but no imminent load shed. The demand peak on July 8 was 11,599 megawatts (MW).

"We had a total of 545 MW of contingency reserves dispatched and available to use last night. Of the 545 MW, we directed 114 MW to balance supply/demand and 431 MW remaining of contingency reserves available to use, if required. We were not close to rotating outages on July 8, 2024."

AESO system controllers are managing this current heat wave in partnership with the industry. At this time, AESO stated they have adequate generation forecasted for the next several days.

"However, with high temperatures expected to remain for the rest of the week, pulling up demand—we remain alert, as always, to the ever-changing environment and are prepared to respond. "

AESO is asking for help from residents to help conserve power while the heatwave is happening.

"All Albertans can play a role by minimizing electricity use from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. when we expect the highest demand each day. In addition to helping conserve energy during this peak period, Albertans can also take action throughout the day by closing window coverings, lowering thermostats to pre-cool homes, avoiding using major appliances and charging electric devices."

According to AESO, grid alerts can be triggered by different factors that affect power generation and electricity demand, such as:

  • Extremely cold or hot weather, which drives increased use of heating or air conditioning systems
  • Time of day and wind conditions, which impact the availability of solar and wind-generated energy
  • Unplanned generation facility outages
  • Other factors beyond transmission and generation facility owners’ control, such as lightning, downed power lines, etc.

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