Energy consumption in Alberta reaches record summer levels

By Lethbridge News Now (Lara Fominoff)
July 26, 2017 - 12:36pm

There won't be any brownouts or blackouts anywhere in Alberta during this second heatwave, or for the rest of the summer, even though energy consumption has hit record levels since the end of June.
The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) manages and operates the provincial power grid. Manager of Public Affairs, Tara Deweerd, says the system is monitored 24/7.
"Our main concern is reliability. Ensuring that all Albertans have reliable electricity. We do have an ample supply of electricity right now, so we don't have concerns right now in terms of running into a supply shortfall situation."

That's good news to many, after another heat warning was issued by Environment Canada for July 26-28. Temperatures during the day are expected to reach at least 30 degrees for the next week, and overnight lows for at least three days won't get below 11 degrees (in Red Deer).
That means many homes and businesses throughout central and southern Alberta are running fans and air conditioners up to 24 hours a day.
During the first heat warning, issued on July 7, temperatures in Lethbridge reached 35.7 degrees. The same day, Deweerd says the province also hit an all-time summer high for energy consumption
"For this year, we have broken several summer records. July 7, we landed on an all-time summer peak of 10,802 megawatts. We were surpassing previous records at least three times that day. Kind of every hour starting at about 2 p.m. we were surpassing the previous set record."
That's not too far off the all-time record high set in December 2016, when consumption reached 11,458 megawatts.
Total capacity is 16,400 megawatts, so Deweerd says they're not concerned about the system overloading or power running out.
"We pay attention to all of our generators' activity. And with all of the adequate supply cushion that we have in the province, there's really no concern of us coming close to that."

Hospital stay costs in Alberta among highest in Canada

Join the Discussion

We are happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.