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Frigid temperatures could result in more Alberta-wide energy alerts
CALGARY -- It's been so cold in Alberta this week that it's already caused an energy usage alert and the provincial body in charge of power we may enter into another situation as temperatures remain frigid.
The Alberta Energy System Operator (AESO) says the first two levels of an "energy system alert" was called Monday.
"It's a set of protocols and procedures that system controllers go through when supply is getting closer to not meeting demand," said Tara Deweerd, manager of communications with AESO.
Deweerd says AESO is still able to meet Alberta's energy demands, but their reserves have definitely been impacted.
"It goes from zero to three where zero is normal conditions and level 3 is where there will be some temporary power loss to customers in Alberta," she said.
AESO is continuing to monitor Alberta's energy grid very closely and whether or not we'll enter into another "alert" depends on a number of factors, Deweerd says.
"It depends on the generators and as long as they are able to continue to operate at their maximum capacity or at a capacity that's going to meet demand, we should be okay."
She says wind levels will also factor into the equation.
"Wind generation in cold weather is pretty minimal."
Deweerd says energy system alerts happen more often during the summer, with the last one occurring during last year's Calgary Stampede.
She says the last level 3 alert took place in 2013.
When it comes to another week of cold weather, Deweerd says personnel at the AESO is constantly monitoring the conditions.
"Certainly, as the cold weather is upon us and the supply has become a little tighter, they'll continue to do so. If we do enter another tighter condition and into another energy system alert, they will go through all their protocols and procedures and do whatsoever's within their control to prevent us from entering into an energy emergency alert 3 and losing power in the province."