Alberta urged to conserve power again Sunday night to avoid outages

AESO issued another grid alert for Alberta on Sunday evening, urging residents to conserve electricity through peak hours

For the second night in a row, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) issued a grid alert urging residents to conserve power through 8:00 p.m. local time Sunday to avoid the risk of rolling blackouts.

Saturday night’s power usage came dangerously close to straining the grid, which would have forced operators to conduct rolling blackouts to prevent overtaxing the province’s electrical supply. Usage rapidly dropped after the emergency alert, which precluded the need for outages.

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Officials warn that a similar power strain is possible through peak hours Sunday night—and blackouts can be avoided if power consumption is reduced.

“Please reduce electricity consumption to essential use only, through until 8 p.m. to avoid the possibility of rotating outages,” the AESO said Sunday evening.

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According to the AESO’s website, some easy ways Albertans can reduce electrical consumption and help neighbours keep the lights and heat on through this trying cold snap include:

  • Only using lights or appliances when they’re absolutely necessary

  • Avoid washing clothes or running the dishwasher

  • Reduce the use of space heaters

  • Delay charging electric vehicles or using block heaters until after peak hours

  • Avoid using electric stoves to cook

  • Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer

Western Canada is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation cold snap. Temperatures have dipped into the -40s across much of the province over the past couple of days, including a -51.5°C low at Keg River that registered as Alberta’s coldest reading in 20 years.

Header image submitted by Ramin Khesareh in Calgary, Alberta.

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