Maritime utilities report record consumption during deep freeze
Published Tuesday, January 29, 2013 7:17PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:16AM AST
After more than a week in the deep freeze, the temperatures finally warmed up across the region Tuesday.
But with a drop in temperatures often comes a rise in power bills, as Maritimers turn up the heat in order to stay warm.
“Last week was a big record for us,” says NB Power spokeswoman Kathleen Duguay.
NB Power reached a peak demand of 3,100 megawatts last Wednesday, which is three times the normal demand on the grid.
Last week’s cold snap was the first in the province since the Point Lepreau generating station went back in service.
The utility also fired up fossil fuel plants, such as the Coleson Cove Generating Station, to meet the demand, which was especially high in the morning.
“Between six and seven o’clock in the morning, that is the peak time for us and often we have to start Coleson Cove to meet the demand and as you understand, the power from Coleson Cove is more expensive than what we get from other units in the province,” says Duguay.
Even with all of its generating stations going at full tilt, NB Power still had to buy electricity from the state of Maine and Hydro-Quebec to meet the demand.
The utility had to pay 27 cents per kilowatt hour, which is roughly twice what NB Power charges its own customers for electricity.
Nova Scotia Power also hit consumption milestones.
The utility peaked at over 2000 megawatts Thursday, which was the highest energy consumption in the province since two large paper mills closed more than a year ago.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron