Parts of Alberta experienced rolling blackouts Friday morning

Some Albertans may have experienced no power Friday morning. This was due to rolling blackouts across the province as the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) issued a grid alert in the early morning hours.

Around 6:49 a.m., AESO declared the alert via social media, stating power should be back to normal around 10 a.m.

Just before noon, AESO officially declared the end of the grid alert.

Albertans were asked to conserve energy during the alert, with Premier Danielle Smith saying it’s the second one in just a matter of days.

“This is the second grid alert issued in recent days, and while contributing factors vary, we recognize this may be alarming to some Albertans. Minister of Affordability and Utilities Nathan Neudorf continues to work closely with AESO to understand the situation and ensure appropriate measures are taken,” said the Premier in a pose of X, formerly Twitter.

“Our government is committed to protecting Alberta’s grid and ensuring our province continues to generate reliable baseload power both now and in the future.”

Neudorf also took to X, saying, “This alert remains in place and while this is not currently an emergency situation, Albertans are asked to conserve energy where possible. We recognize this may be alarming to some Albertans. We are continuing to work closely with AESO to understand the situation and ensure appropriate measures are taken.”

Various parts of Calgary and Edmonton lost power. Enmax in Calgary saying customers in Springbank Hill, Signal Hill, West Springs, Aspen Woods, Strathcona Park, Skyline East, McCall, Deerfoot Mall, Mckenzie Lake, Mckenzie Towne, East Shepard Industrial, saw power disruptions for roughly 30 minutes.

Meanwhile in Edmonton, EPCOR also noted communities that were impacted also lost power for about half an hour, before stating at 9:34 a.m. that the rotating outages had stopped.

Grid alerts are most common when the power system is under stress from various factors such as extremely hot or cold weather conditions, which usually see an increased usage of heaters or air conditioners.

Other factors include time of day and wind conditions, which impact the creation of solar and wind power throughout the province.

Not all alerts turn into emergency situations, like the one the province saw during the extreme cold snap in January.

However, AESO says there are ways for Albertans to conserve energy, which will help the energy grid. Those tips are as follows:

  • Unplug electric appliances when not in use, as they continue to drain energy even if they’re off (or use a power bar to cut power to multiple appliances with a single button)
  • Use ceiling fans to circulate warm/cool air to maintain a consistent temperature
  • Close your curtains/shades/blinds to cover drafty windows when it’s cold; open them on warm, sunny days to help heat your home
  • Have air conditioners/heating systems serviced on a routine basis; also, regularly clean filters
  • Identify and seal leaks around doors and windows

AESO will be speaking to media Friday afternoon, and notes there is the possibility for another grid alert Friday evening.

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