Unit 3 of Boundary Dam expected to be back online next month: SaskPower

Unit three of the SaskPower Boundary Dam, which has been out of commission since a June 14 storm, should be up and running by the beginning of September, a spokesman for the Crown corporation says.

Precision parts were damaged during tornado and hail storm on June 14

The outage of unit 3 at the Boundary Dam had little effect on the province's power grid until the recent heat wave. (Radio-Canada)

Unit three of the SaskPower Boundary Dam, which has been out of commission since a June 14 storm, should be up and running by the beginning of September, a spokesman for the Crown corporation says.

A tornado and large hail stones damaged precision parts of the unit, which contributed to the delay in repair, Jonathan Tremblay says. The unit provides about 110 megawatts of power, which is enough power for about 100,000 homes.

"It's an important part of our system that's been taken out for two months and more while we make those repairs," Tremblay said. 

We're breaking a new summer and winter record every year now. That didn't used to be the case but it's growing.- Jonathan Tremblay, SaskPower

The outage had little effect on the province's electrical grid until the recent heat wave, when the province experienced daytime highs above 30 C for multiple days.

"We're reaching the extremes of how much power we're producing, and it would certainly help to have that extra unit but for now, we're managing," Tremblay said. 

SaskPower says the province set a record for power demand on Thursday of 3,520 megawatts. The previous high, set last August, was 3,470 megawatts. The 50-megawatt difference could have powered 50,000 homes.

"We're breaking a new summer and winter record every year now. That didn't used to be the case but it's growing," he said. 

Tremblay says  SaskPower has had discussions with energy producers in Alberta and Manitoba about importing energy into the province.

Rising temperatures and a growing population are part of the reason for the increasing power demand. But SaskPower says these tips will help keep reduce energy costs:

  • Turn down or program the air conditioning to remain off when no one is home (for every degree that air conditioning is lowered for an eight-hour period, customers can save up to two per cent on their power costs).
  • Consider having air conditioning inspected to make sure it is operating efficiently.
  • Keep the heat out by closing blinds and drapes, especially those with direct sunlight.
  • Delay chores that produce heat and moisture, such as dishwashing and laundering, until the cooler parts of the day or evening. 
  • Make sure lights, televisions and other electronics are turned off when not needed. For example, a modern gaming console can use as much power as a refrigerator.

With files from Radio-Canada