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BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heat wave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states
People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

BC Hydro says it will be able to deliver homes as much power as they need despite the record-breaking heat wave that’s caused U.S. blackouts among the western power grid, which the province shares.

The company issued a statement Tuesday (June 22), assuring customers that although 2.4-million homes in Texas lost power last week, it won’t be the same for B.C.

“BC Hydro has more than enough energy to meet the increased summer demand,” said company spokesperson Mora Scott.

As the weather heats up closer to the end of the week, the company expects demand to continue to increase as people across the province crank up air conditioners and fans to keep cool.

“Even refrigerators will be working harder to cool their contents,” Scott said.

READ MORE: Raccoon caught taking a nap, snacking in BC Hydro van (VIDEO)

However, with the majority of power being sourced from hydroelectric infrastructures such as dams, Scott said BC Hydro is able to ramp generation up and down at a moment’s notice.

The western province has not seen a dip in reservoir levels close to some U.S cities.

“We’re really fortunate that B.C. is not experiencing similar drought conditions,” Scott said. “BC Hydro is forecasting normal reservoir levels across the province this summer.”

In southwest states like California, years of drought have strained power grids and fuelled the spread of wildfires and residents there are being asked to conserve their power.

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Typically, the province sees its highest demand for power in winter months while homes utilize in-home systems and heaters to keep themselves warm.

“Although the heat wave may break power-demand records this summer, it will not compromise our ability to provide power,” Scott said.

In addition, BC Hydro’s subsidiary Powerex Corp. exported surplus electricity to many western states to help during the heat wave.

It plans to use those profits to keep rates affordable for British Columbians.

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