How drought conditions are impacting Manitoba Hydro’s ability to generate power

WINNIPEG –

The lack of precipitation in Manitoba has been highly documented this summer and it has caused many problems, especially for the farming community.

However, Manitoba Hydro is also feeling a pinch and the low amount of precipitation will impact the company’s ability to generate power.

During a normal year, Hydro uses the excess power that it generates and sells it on the export market. But in 2021, that hasn’t been the case.

Scott Powell, director of corporate communications for Hydro, said despite not having an excess amount of energy this year, the company is still working to ensure power will be available in the winter.

“Right now with the drought, we are managing the system for energy security to ensure we have generation available on the Nelson River, where our big plants are, in order to meet the energy needs of Manitobans in the upcoming winter months when we have very high electric heating load,” said Powell.

He added that Manitobans shouldn’t worry about the low production of energy this year and Hydro’s system is designed to function off the lowest water conditions.

“When we have water above that, that’s when we have excess energy that we can sell on the market.”

Powell said Hydro’s bottom line will feel some pressure because of the drought but the full extent won’t be known until the company releases its first-quarter numbers.

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