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UPDATE: Alberta electricity grid alert ended

Record-setting temperatures in Western Canada caused an unprecedented demand for electricity in Alberta
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Albertans narrowly avoided an electricity supply emergency on Saturday night after an emergency alert prompted Albertans to conserve power. 

More than two hours after the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) issued an emergency alert asking Albertans to reduce their power use, the grid alert was ended.

On Saturday (Jan. 13) night just before 7 p.m., an emergency alert was issued across the province asking Albertans to reduce their power consumption to prevent potential rotating power outages throughout the evening. 

AESO had asked Albertans to immediately reduce their electricity use to minimize the potential for rotating outages across the province.



"The AESO declared a Grid Alert today at 3:30 p.m. in response to ongoing extreme cold temperatures across western Canada, restricted imports and very high demand," AESO said in a media release. 

"Albertans are asked to immediately reduce their electricity use to essential needs only," the emergency alert read.

Alberta's Minister of Affordability and Utilities Nathan Neudorf issued a statement after the emergency alert to  Albertans asking them to reduce their electric demand immediately to essentials. 

"On top of high demand of our own energy generation, Alberta's grid receives electricity from neighbouring provinces. Extreme weather in Saskatchewan and British Columbia is impacting electricity sharing, which is also a contributing factor to tonight's grid alert. The Alberta Electric System Operator has activated its emergency grid management plan to work with local distribution utilities to avoid potential rolling brownouts," Neudorf said in a statement. 

Here are some easy ways to conserve electricity this evening and into the night, according to a media statement:

  • Turn off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances;
  • Minimize the use of space heaters;
  • Delay the use of major power-consuming appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers;
  • Delay charging electric vehicles and/or plugging in block heaters;
  • Cook with your microwave, crockpot or toaster oven instead of an electric stove or oven;
  • Limit the use of kitchen or bathroom ventilation fans;
  • Work on a laptop instead of a desktop computer (laptops are more energy-efficient than desktop units);
  • Unplug electric appliances when not in use, as they continue to drain energy even if they’re off (or use a power bar to cut power to multiple appliances with a single button);
  • Close your curtains/shades/blinds to cover drafty windows.

Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette and has been with Great West Media since 2015
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