Extreme cold warnings blanketed all of Alberta on Dec. 21. Environment Canada

For the second time in 16 hours, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) declared a “grid alert,” as that province’s grid came under threat of being overloaded. It was the fourth grid alert issued in the month of December, so far.

In a tweet put out Wednesday morning, the AESO said, “Continued extreme cold weather, high electricity demand, and an unplanned outage has prompted the AESO to declare a Grid Alert at 8:25 a.m. Find information on Grid Alerts here Grid Alerts & Electricity Conservation » AESO.”

Notably, the Keephills natural gas-fired power plant, with a 463 megawatt capacity, was producing zero power.

What the AESO did not say is that at the moment the grid alert was declared, the province’s 3,618 megawatts of wind power generation capacity was putting out just 115 megawatts, or 3.2 per cent of capacity.

By 10:43, the province’s dispatchable contingency reserve for  natural gas had been maxed out. Momentarily, there was zero additional natural gas capacity that could be called upon to fill in as needed. But a minute later, that number came back to 66 megawatts. And the province was importing 765 megawatts of power.

And being the shortest day of the year on the winter solstice, solar was putting out zero megawatts at that moment, out of 1,138 megawatts nameplate capacity.

But the internal load was 11,745 megawatts, not far off the record of 12,187 set on Monday at supper time.

Wednesday morning, the entire province, from Zama to Coutts, was under an extreme cold warning from Environment Canada, causing demand to go up while wind turbines shut down at anything below -30 C. By 9:52 a.m., 27 of 36 wind farms were producing zero power, and the remaining nine were producing a total of 157 megawatts.

UPDATE:

The grid alert was called off at 12:38 p.m. Pool power prices remained maxed out at $1000 per megawatt for three hours. That’s the maximum prices allowed on the system.

 

  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

Alberta sees third electrical ‘grid alert’ this month, as frigid temps, cratering wind and solar, and high demand combine