By Emily Kroeker, Discoverestevan.com
Some people in the southeast are still dealing with the effects of a storm that came through the southeast on June 14th. SaskPower is also dealing with some of those issues as Boundary Dam was hit hard and taken offline.
“The storm we had a few weeks ago,” explained Jonathan Tremblay, a spokesperson with SaskPower, “did have a lot of impact on the grid in the southeast in general. It took down a lot of our major lines and also tripped off the entire Boundary Dam Power Station. Thankfully it didn’t affect people too long. Some customers were out for the better part of a day but we were very happy we were able to get people back online quickly.”
“We do have a resilient power grid, especially in the southeast with our power plants and with our connection with Manitoba. So we were able to keep damaged pieces down while we reroute power through other lines, other substations and switching stations.”
“We’ve been able to address minor damage here and there and bring Units 4,5, and 6 back up but Unit 3 has some lasting damage that we’re still assessing right now.”
BD3 has been down since the storm and will continue to be down as crews work to assess the damage. They will have more information once the assessment has been completed which is expected to be at the end of the week.
“We’ll be finished our testing with third parties. It’s very fine machinery, so down to the micron and millimetre. We’re looking at what kind of damage we’ll have to fix and that will let us know how long it’s going to be out of service.”
For now, there won’t be any interruptions to service.
“Boundary Dam 3 is a 110 megawatt of electricity, thankfully we have a lot of power coming from the other units, from Shand Power Station and from the grid in general so no one should see any outage or any additional outages due to this. It will mean we will have to maybe import more power here and there if we have a big demand peak this summer if temperatures reach very high. But we should be bringing BD3 back online in the coming weeks and months.”
However, there is an impact of the Carbon Capture and Storage Facility.
“The CCS Facility takes the exhaust, let’s say, from the power unit, from Unit 3 and uses that to extract the carbon dioxide, the sulphur dioxide. So without a power unit, the carbon capture facility is standing by. It’s ready to operate but there’s nothing coming to it, there’s nothing to capture. It’s going to standby until we can make repairs to the power side.”
“Our infrastructure is protected against weather, just not maybe extreme weather. It’s always one of the challenges of operating a very large power grid in the Canadian Prairies.”