Skip to Content

Alberta Demand Response

Program FAQ


Who can participate?

Large electricity users that can reduce electricity consumption—either by curtailing load, or switching to properly permitted on-site generation—are eligible to provide Operating Reserves. Ideal participants have the following characteristics:

  • 24x7 or 24x5 operations
  • Stable, predictable load profile
  • On-site generation with centralized control
  • Capable of reducing at least 300 kW load within 10 minutes, most commonly using Enel X control solutions

How much can I earn?

Earnings depend on several factors including hours enrolled in the program, MW reduced, and energy prices. The more you are available, the more you can earn. Enel X will work with you to evaluate earnings potential and optimize your participation based on your operational capabilities.


Operating Reserves Overview


Program Period: Year-round with day-ahead commitments
Program Hours: 24x7x365, you choose when your site participates

  • On-peak: 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. MT
  • Off-peak: 11:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m. MT

Dispatch Notification: 10-minutes
Dispatch Frequency: Typically 5-10 per year
Dispatch Duration: Ranges from 10-60 minutes


How else does my business benefit?

  • Reduced Energy Bills: Since Operating Reserves prices are tied to the AESO Pool Price, you can participate in the program to hedge against high retail energy charges.
  • Protect your Operations: The advanced notice you receive provides a window to prepare and prevent costly damage to your processes and equipment preceding a potential blackout.
  • Full Control and Customization: You decide when and how many MW to bid into the market. You can opt-in and -out of the market with just one day’s notice. Participate only when it makes sense for your business.

How do I participate in OR?

Enel X works with you to determine a custom partici- pation plan that best suits your site’s operating schedule and financial objectives. Our goal is to maximize your earnings while making participation as simple and hands-off as possible.

  • Enel X submits daily market offers on your behalf for the following day (weekend and Monday offers are submitted on Friday).
  • When your offers clear, you earn payments for being available to reduce load, if called upon.
  • If your capacity is needed, Enel X will notify you to reduce your load within 10 minutes.

What triggers a dispatch?

OR dispatches are triggered by short-term imbalances between supply of and demand on the AESO grid. These imbalances are typically caused by a sudden loss of a generating unit, an unexpected increase in demand, or an issue with an interconnection that links Alberta to a neighboring jurisdiction.

What happens if I cannot meet my commitment?

Enel X shields its customers from owing penalties associated with non-compliance. While failure to meet your commitment may result in lower program payments, you will never be required to make any out-of-pocket payments.

What are the costs to participate?

Enel X pays for all metering equipment, controls, and connectivity fees associated with enrolling your site in the Operating Reserves program. We leverage our state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC) to meet AESO’s strict telemetry, bidding, and dispatch requirements, thereby eliminating any technical costs to our customers.
View of electricity pylon from below

On-Demand Access to Real-Time Data

Enel X provides on-demand access to your real-time energy data—giving you the information you need to perform your best during demand response events and to better manage overall energy costs.