Tight energy conditions led to Alberta power grid alert

Tight energy conditions remain Wednesday after the Alberta Electric System Operator issued a grid alert Tuesday evening.

The provincewide alert was issued at 6:14 p.m. and required AESO to draw on reserve power. No blackouts occurred.

“The grid is operating as it should and our systems are working as they should to maintain reliability for providing power to people across Alberta,” said Leif Sollid, spokesman for AESO.

The energy shortage was linked to scheduled maintenance of the B.C.-Alberta Intertie line coupled with an unplanned outage of a generator. Meanwhile, there was little wind energy production in the province while use of air conditioners spiked due to hot temperatures just as prime evening usage hit. The alert ended at 8:45 p.m. as power consumption tapered off.

During the alert, AESO drew on about 120 megawatts of emergency power and had additional reserves available.

Sollid could not say how long the tight conditions would remain.

In the case of a grid alert, people are asked to reduce electricity usage to help mitigate more serious emergency measures, including rotating power outages.

Tips to conserve energy include:

• Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances;

• Minimize the use of air conditioners and space heaters;

• Delay the use of major appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers;

• Use cold water to wash clothes;

• Delay charging vehicles until after peak times;

• Cook with a microwave, crockpot, toaster or barbecue;

• Use motion-detector lights in storage areas, garages and outdoors when possible.

Twitter: @JoshAldrich03

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