BC Hydro’s May consumption record broken as heat persists

British Columbians turning on their air conditioners and fans Monday looks to have played a hand in breaking BC Hydro’s May record for demand.

The utility provider says it set a new record for the highest May peak-hourly demand for energy on Monday night when temperatures soared across much of the province.

“Preliminary analysis found consumption reached nearly 7,600 megawatts,” BC Hydro said.

On Monday morning the supplier said it expected to record consumption at around 7,800 megawatts and was well prepared to deliver that much power.

“With temperatures decreasing, BC Hydro does not expect the latest record to fall in the coming days. However, demand for power is expected to remain higher-than-average this week and BC Hydro’s reliable hydroelectric system can meet the additional demand,” it said in a release.

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The new record for energy demand comes after 37 heat records were broken in B.C. on Monday.

Records for May 15 fell in several areas, including around Vancouver, West Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Pitt Meadows in the Lower Mainland. Across B.C., a total of 37 records were broken.

Vancouver International Airport recorded a high of 24.3 degrees Monday, breaking the previous record of 24.2 set in 2006.

In West Vancouver, the mercury rose to 30.3 to start the week, surpassing the previous high of 27.6, also from 2006.

CityNews Meteorologist Michael Kuss says while temperatures remain high — about 10 degrees above average for this time of year — they won’t be as sweltering as they were over the past few days.

“There’s a low-pressure system we’ve been talking about down in Washington, eastern Washington now. It’s upper level but what it’s doing is it’s shielding us from some of that extreme heat that we had yesterday,” he said Tuesday.

With files from Hana Mae Nassar

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