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Monday, January 17, 2022

Alberta energy demand surges over Christmas chilly snap

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Demand in Calgary wasn’t fairly as excessive, based on ENMAX

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Alberta’s vacation deep freeze pushed demand for electrical energy close to document highs, based on the provincial electrical operator.

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The Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO) mentioned Monday energy consumption over the previous week reached a excessive level on Dec. 23, with 11,620 megawatts used.

That’s solely 109 MW, or about one per cent shy of the earlier all-time one-day peak of 11,729 MW used, throughout this February’s polar vortex.

Pressure on the facility grid through the deep freeze prompted the AESO to declare an power emergency alert stage 2 at 7:30 p.m. Monday, with the acute climate affecting the operations of some energy era services.

The alert means energy service is being maintained for all prospects, however reserves are getting used to provide power necessities. EPCOR mentioned on Twitter Albertans may help by lowering their use of main home equipment, like dishwashers or laundry machines.

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AESO spokesperson Leif Sollid mentioned operators have maintained grid reliability through the chilly snap and the system has remained in fine condition, however that demand is anticipated to remain excessive within the coming days.

“The five-day forecast reveals most of Alberta will stay under -15 C. This implies energy consumption will stay close to peak ranges,” Sollid mentioned. “Clearly issues can change and that’s the reason we have now extremely skilled operators working 24/7 for Albertans.”

Demand in Calgary wasn’t fairly as excessive, based on ENMAX.

Electrical energy demand within the metropolis peaked at 1,483 MW round 5 p.m. Boxing Day, with a barely decrease peak anticipated Monday. These are effectively under Calgary’s all-time winter peak of 1,653 MW, set on Dec. 2, 2013, in addition to the all-time summer season excessive of 1,793 MW set on June 29 of this 12 months, after a warmth dome settled on Western Canada.

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The vacation interval contributed to comparatively decrease electrical energy utilization, ENMAX mentioned.

“For comparability, the earlier excessive chilly warning on February 7-12, 2021 had greater common peaks, round 1,500-1,520 MW,” ENMAX mentioned. “It is because electrical energy demand is often decrease through the vacation interval in comparison with a typical work week.”

The utility firm added that for each 10-degree drop under 0 C, the common dwelling makes use of 40 per cent extra pure gasoline and eight per cent extra electrical energy.

Although Calgary confronted a blistering chilly over the Christmas weekend, low temperatures didn’t method historic data for the vacations. The document lows on Dec. 25 and Dec. 26 are -35 C and -35.6 C, respectively, each set in 1886; Calgary hit -26.8 C this Christmas and -28.8 C on Boxing Day this 12 months.

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“So we’re a good methods off any document lows,” mentioned Surroundings and Local weather Change Canada meteorologist Justin Patton.

The District Energy Centre in downtown Calgary was photographed while Alberta is under an extreme cold warning on Monday, December 27, 2021.
The District Power Centre in downtown Calgary was photographed whereas Alberta is below an excessive chilly warning on Monday, December 27, 2021. Picture by Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

Exterior of Calgary, some elements of Alberta did log record-breaking lows Sunday and Monday. That features Airdrie, with a low of -40.6 C Monday, and Pincher Creek, which hit -35.9 C Monday.

Frigid temperatures are anticipated to stay by means of a lot of the week earlier than rising to a excessive of -2 C Saturday, Patton mentioned. However the mercury is forecasted to drop once more within the first week of the brand new 12 months following that reprieve.

“From Sunday till at the least mid-week the next week it seems like we’re once more caught in one other chilly spell,” he mentioned.

Calgary remained below an excessive chilly warning Monday afternoon, with Surroundings and Local weather Change Canada warning frostbite can develop in minutes. Monday noticed a excessive of -28 C, with wind chill close to -40 C. Tuesday’s forecasted excessive is -17 C, with a wind chill of -33 C within the morning and -25 C within the afternoon.

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The chilly stretch has led to the closure of some outside actions,  together with Zoolights on the Calgary Zoo and the ski and snowboard hill at Canada Olympic Park.

In the meantime, different occasions are trucking on by means of the glacial temperatures. That features the annual Tim Hortons Western Canada Pond Hockey Championships on Chestermere Lake, which can begin Tuesday after a one-day delay.

“We suspect our spectator viewers might be down a bit this 12 months as a result of climate, but it surely’s refreshing to say it is because of climate and never from COVID-19,” mentioned occasion chair Alex Halat in a information launch.

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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