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BC Hydro expects grid to hold up despite heat

BC Hydro is reassuring its customers that its power grid is expected to handle the strain of this weekend’s high temperatures.

According to forecasts from Environment Canada, temperatures are expected to reach the mid-to-high 30s for much of the region.

The heat should peak on Sunday with a high of 37 degrees in Cranbrook and Invermere, 36 in Sparwood and 38 degrees in Creston.

Recent power shortages in the western United States came as temperatures soared to record-breaking levels, increasing above 38 degrees in some places.

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“Energy shortages in some US states highlight the strain climate change is putting on electricity systems – especially those that are not prepared to handle extreme weather events,” said BC Hydro officials. “It also underlines the importance of flexible hydro-backed resources to meet demand when other clean resources, like wind and solar, are not available and to continue to assist with the transition away from fossil fuels.”

While this may cause concerns on the potential impacts this weekend’s heat may have on our province’s power supply, BC Hydro is confident in its supply.

“We’re a winter peaking utility, which means we see the highest demand on our system in the wintertime,” said Sally MacDonald, BC Hydro Community Relations official. “Our peak in summer is a lot less than we experience in winter. What’s more, in summer, we can easily meet the increased demand for power because of the surplus of clean water at our large hydroelectric facilities.”

MacDonald said B.C.’s power grid is backed up with the help of the company’s hydroelectric dams.

“Our reservoirs act like batteries and we can use those to generate power when we need it. That puts us in a good position to provide power at any time it’s needed,” explained MacDonald.

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