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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Food security groups looking for new home in Campbell River

Grassroots Kind Hearts and other groups looking into alternatives

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

North Island College receives $125,000 donation from accounting firm

The donation from Chan Nowosad Boates will be used to purchase technology as well to award bursaries for students

Mobile Health Unit takes to Campbell River streets

KDC Health-operated health bus offers holistic approach to health

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read