AESO launches new Grid Alert notification process
CALGARY, ALBERTA, Dec. 15, 2021 – To ensure consistent and clear communication with the public and to maintain confidence in the day-to-day operation of the power system, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is implementing a new—simplified—Grid Alert notification process starting January 1, 2022.
The new AESO Grid Alert will let Albertans know when the power system is being challenged and steps they can take to conserve power. The one-step Grid Alert will replace the former three-step Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) process.
“Albertans expect reliable power each and every day, and our number-one job is to maintain the reliability of the province’s electrical grid,” explains Dennis Frehlich, Vice President of Grid Reliability. “Like any piece of equipment, the power system can have issues from time to time. We believe this new process will help Albertans understand what is happening with the grid and how they can conserve power during tightening supply conditions.”
A key driver for the new AESO Grid Alert is the complexity of the current electricity industry EEA process, which is set to become even more complicated as the AESO aligns its operating procedures with standards set by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
“The EEA process is designed for system operators, generators, transmission and distribution companies in the province and our neighbouring jurisdictions to communicate tightening supply conditions,” adds Frehlich. “We believe a simple Grid Alert process will remove industry jargon and give the public clear and consistent information they can use to make informed decisions.”
Starting January 1, 2022, if the AESO is experiencing tight grid conditions, it will initiate a Grid Alert and communicate the need to conserve electricity via social media and its website. The Grid Alert will remain in place until the power system is back to normal; conversely, should the situation deteriorate to the point that rotating power outages are required, the AESO will update the Grid Alert based on the current state of the supply conditions. The last time Alberta experienced rotating outages was in 2013 and the outages lasted for a couple of hours.
The AESO must stress its Grid Alert is separate and distinct from the provincial and federal emergency notification systems that are commonly used for Amber Alerts, evacuations or pending emergencies.
For more information, contact:
Director, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
The Alberta Electric System Operator is responsible for the safe, reliable, and economic planning and operation of the Alberta Interconnected Electric System. We provide open and non-discriminatory access to Alberta’s interconnected power grid and we also facilitate Alberta’s competitive wholesale electricity market.