CALGARY, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - For the second time this week, Alberta's
demand for electricity reached a record all-time high of 10,609 MW,
breaking the 10,315 MW record set yesterday, January 15, 2012.
"The current cold front, combined with overall provincial growth in
demand for electricity, are factors contributing to the record high
levels occurring this week," says John Esaiw, Director of Forecasting
for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).
Alberta's demand grew 2.6 percent in 2011, continuing the strong growth
trend seen in the previous year. Increased demand in major urban
centres such as Calgary and Edmonton, and oilsands demand growth in
northeastern Alberta were the primary contributors to this growth.
"Simply put, the transmission capacity has not kept pace with combined
load and generation development in Alberta," says Esaiw. "We need to
have that transmission infrastructure in place ahead of our growing
demand for electricity to ensure that investment, market access and
economic development are not compromised."
The AESO's forecasts indicate that over the next 20 years, more than
11,000 MW of new generation is needed to replace retiring generation
plants that reach the end of their operating lives as well as keep up
with anticipated load growth. In Alberta, because generation resources
are often located far from where the demand is, we depend on
transmission lines to carry electricity from where it is produced to
where it is needed.
Forecasting and planning Alberta's electricity grid is an ongoing
process and changes in economics, industrial projects and customer
connection requests are continuously monitored to assess their impact
on provincial forecasts and impact to the transmission system. The
AESO's system controllers monitor the electricity grid 24 hours per
day, seven days per week, working collaboratively with transmission
facility owners and power generation owners to ensure that even during
times of high demand, contingency plans are in place and reserves are
available to meet the electricity demands of all Albertans.
Albertans can help reduce the demand on the electricity system by:
Running major appliances (washers, dryers, dishwashers) during off-peak
hours (after 7 p.m.)
Turning off unnecessary lights
Turning off non-essential electrical appliances
Connecting a timer to a vehicle's block heater
To view current supply and demand on Alberta's electricity grid, updated
hourly on the AESO's website, visit the following link: http://ets.aeso.ca/ets_web/ip/Market/Reports/CSDReportServlet.
As an independent system operator, the AESO leads the safe, reliable and
economic planning and operation of Alberta's interconnected power
system. The AESO also facilitates Alberta's fair, efficient and openly
competitive wholesale electricity market, which in 2010 had about 175
participants and approximately $5 billion in annual energy
SOURCE Alberta Electric System Operator
For further information:
Dawn Delaney, Senior External Communication Advisor
Phone: 403-539-2846 Cell: 403-671-6129 Pager: 403-515-9450
Email : email@example.com