Soaring temperatures lead to power records

Submitted photo from SaskPower twitter account.

The heat wave currently hitting Saskatchewan has led to record-breaking temperatures and power use.

Saskatoon hit a new heat record, with their high coming in at 37.9 C, 0.2 C higher than the prior Aug. 10 record, set back in 1984. Regina also broke temperature weathers, with a high of 36..3 C coming in well ahead of 1978’s 35.4

In Prince Albert, temperatures fell just below the all-time record. As of press time, temperatures had hit a peak of 33.1 C at 3 p.m. The heat record for Aug. 10 for the city was set at 35.2 in 1991. Temperatures were still much above the average high for this time of year, 24.1 C.

Hot temperatures are expected to continue tomorrow, with a high of 28 C in the forecast. Rain and cooler temperatures are predicted to return Sunday and Monday, though initial reports show highs projected into the high 20s by midweek next week.

With everyone in the province trying to keep cool, SaskPower saw usage records broken Thursday. The Crown corporation expected records to be broken again Friday. That information wasn’t available as of press time.

Prince Albert’s Thursday high topped out at 30.6 C.

Saskatchewan set a new summer peak demand record of 3,520 megawatts (MW) at 5:55 pm. Thursday. That’s 50 MW higher than the old record, which is equal to the power needed for 50,000 homes.

“We’ve seen both summer and winter records set every year for a good while now,” said SaskPower vice president transmission and industrial services Kory Hayko.

“If last summer is any indication, we could very well see another record before temperatures cool off heading into the fall. It’s not impossible we’ll break this record again in the coming days.”

The previous summer peak of 3,470 MW was set last August after also being broken twice in July.

The winter demand record is still higher. That record, 3,792 MW was set on Dec. 29, 2017.

As demand grows, SaskPower is working to expand generation capacity. The Utility currently has the capacity for about 4,5000 MW. It hopes to grow this to 7,000 MW by 2030 while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 2005 levels.

“To accomplish this, we will be significantly increasing the number of renewables on our system,” SaskPower said in a press release.

SaskPower also sent tips to reduce consumption and power bills during heat waves:

Turn down or program the air conditioning when no one is home; for every degree air conditioning is lowered for an eight-hour period, customers can save up to two per cent on their power costs

Consider having the air conditioning unit inspected to ensure it is operating efficiently

Keep out the heat by closing blinds and drapes, especially those with direct sunlight

Delay chores that produce heat and moisture, such as dishwashing and laundering, until he cooler parts of the day or evening

And make sure lights, televisions and other electronics are turned off when no one’s in the room.