Heatwave sparks surge in power usage

BC Hydro says a new electricity consumption record was set on Monday.

BC Hydro’s power systems were operating at a break-neck pace earlier this week as a new record for peak summer usage was set.

At the height of demand on Monday evening, usage reached 7,851 megawatts with 1,142 of that coming from Vancouver Island, according to BC Hydro spokesperson Ted Olynyk.

The increase smashes the old summer record, set on Aug. 11, 2014, by almost 400 megawatts.

“Certainly we’re rivalling any record for peak consumption in the summer,” Olynyk said.

Hydro data shows demand for power increased 12 per cent at that time. That’s equivalent to running seven Ruskin Generating Stations at full capacity, said the power company.

It’s the second time this year that a hydro consumption record has been broken as the overall record was set again this winter — on Jan. 3 — with a peak hourly demand of 10,126 megawatts.

“Certainly when we see long periods of either above normal or below normal temperatures we’ll see an increase of usage,” Olynyk said.

Environment Canada meteorologist Matt Loney said moving forward it’s going to be hard to find times when the trend isn’t leaning toward the warmer side of things.

“It’s fairly rare to get a below normal seasonal forecast,” he said. “Certainly you’ll see runs of weather that are cooler than normal and we just had a two or three day hot spell, which is not abnormal in the summer, but generally speaking, when you get a seasonal forecast or a long-range forecast, that’s anything more than two or three months in length, typically it’s warmer than normal based on 30-year normals.”

And the weather is going to heat up again just in time for back to school.

“We’ve got another late summer ridge building into basically the weekend and on into next week and so we’re expecting even higher temperatures, it looks like, for much of the South Coast, for the weekend and the early and middle part of next week,” Loney said.

“It’s going to be a very significant ridge where we’ll see most likely more record-breaking temperatures, dry conditions, not favourable for fire suppression over on the Mainland, tinder dry late summer conditions going to continue beyond Friday,” he said.

Just Posted

Candidates illuminate different visions of Port Alice’s future

The candidates were asked if they believed the pulp mill could run again.

VIDEO: Terry Fox Run returns to Port Hardy for the first time since 2016

All told, Port Hardy’s Terry Fox Run raised $2,200.30 with more still coming in.

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the North Island-Powell River riding

In an effort to inform the North Island-Powell River riding constituents, we… Continue reading

Port Hardy celebrates Pride Day at Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre

In the evening, FISH TACO: A Seaside Drag performance was held at the Quarterdeck Pub.

Federal election: Meet the North Island candidates

We begin this series on the federal election by asking about their motivation for running.

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Winnipeg student, killed in bus crash, remembered as passionate, kind

University of Victoria student Emma Machado, 18, was killed in the bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

Most Read