AESO Marks 20 Years of Serving Albertans -- A Message from Mike Law
For the past 20 years, Albertans have counted on the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), in concert with industry partners, to meet their power needs 24/7/365. The critical role played by our organization, as the real-time operator of the province’s power system, is something few Albertans pay attention to.
We get it—that’s how it should be.
What matters to people across our province—individuals, families, businesses, public and private sector organizations large and small—is that they have reliable power when and where they need it.
I am proud to say the dedicated, talented, innovative people of the AESO have met that commitment—and so much more.
On June 1, 2023, the AESO marked its 20th anniversary of delivering on its public interest mandate—to ensure the safe, reliable and economic operation of Alberta’s power system.
As much as we’d like to pause and reflect on our past accomplishments and challenges, there’s simply no time. Alberta’s power system is not standing still—and neither is the AESO.
Over the past two decades, the province’s electricity industry has undergone dramatic changes—and the pace of change is accelerating. Look no further than the exponential growth in renewable energy resources—wind and solar. Renewables, including hydroelectric, in 2022 accounted for 17 per cent of the power supplied to the grid, up from 10 per cent in 2018. And by the end of 2023, it’s anticipated that coal will have been phased out as a fuel source in Alberta’s electricity supply, seven years ahead of the 2030 target.
Alberta’s power system is undergoing the greatest transformation in its 100-plus year history, driven by new technologies, government policy and a societal shift toward cleaner forms of energy.
The AESO is playing a leadership role in enabling this transformation. Last June, we published our first report on the challenges and implications of transitioning to a zero-emissions grid by 2035. Importantly, the Pathways to Net-Zero Emissions report represents the beginning of our work on this critical issue, with much more to come.
As we look to the future, what matters to the AESO—and to Albertans—is that we navigate this transition in a way that maintains the reliability and affordability of a power system that is fundamental to the province’s long-term economic prosperity.
You’ve counted on us for the past 20 years to keep the lights on. And we’re committed to maintaining that trust as we work with industry and government to shape the future of electricity in Alberta.
President and CEO