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Tom Kirkman

Extremely cold temps in Alberta may create electricity shortage

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Hope everyone up there in Canadian Frozen Winterland has backup diesel generators for electric power outages.  Oil saves lives.

Extreme Cold Sees Alberta's Electricity Emergency Alert Raised to Level 2 - With Level 3 Meaning Power Outages

The entire province of Alberta is currently under an extreme cold warning, reports

Temperatures as low as -40 degrees through Monday evening saw electricity demand spike as Albertan’s uniformly took action to combat the brutal winter conditions.

The surge in demand forced the Alberta Energy System Operator to raise the Emergency Alert to level 1 and then 2 in quick succession, stating their reserves were being exhausted and that “emergency energy was being requested from neighboring areas.”

The alert read: “At this point we would also ask customers … to lower their demand on the system,” referring not to residential customers but energy companies across the province.


AESO’s spokesperson, Tara de Weerd, explains that you typically see the greatest draw on the grid during bouts of extreme cold weather, adding that “when we hit an all-time record it has been historically always in the winter.”

Alberta’s record for the system’s highest consumption is held by Jan. 11, 2018, when the load was 11,697 MW — but data from AESO’s website shows the load surpassing 11,700 MW at around 6 PM Monday, meaning, once confirmed, that a new record has been set.

AESO’s peak load forecast reveals demand is likely to be just as high in the days ahead, with Arctic conditions expected to hold anonymously far south due to a violent buckling of jet stream –-a phenomenon associated with the historically low solar activity we’re currently experiencing– with the system again predicted to rise above 100% capacity during peak hours Tuesday through Thursday.  ...

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