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Great Lakes Article:

Power plants concerned by warmer waters
CBC News
Posted July 20, 2005


Warmer waters in the Great Lakes may threaten the province's electricity supply, Ontario's power generator said Wednesday.

While temperatures and humidity haven't been as extreme the past two days, the continuing heat wave could force a number of Ontario's coal and nuclear plants at Nanticoke, Lambton and Pickering in Ontario to cut the power they produce, according to Ontario Power Generation.

At Cherry Beach in Toronto, for example, the water is about four degrees warmer than it was last summer.

John Earl, OPG spokesperson, said warmer water going into the plants for steam generation means there's warmer water coming out, but there's a limit of 35 C on how warm that outflow can be.

"If we exceed it, we would have to ratchet back the amount of generation we could put out to the station," said Earl.

OPG has come close to that limit a number of times, including once last week, according to Earl.

The Independent Electricity System Operator, the agency that runs the province's electricity system, is worried about what will happen if the heat wave continues.

Spokesperson Terry Young said water doesn't cool off quickly, so any cutbacks in generation could last awhile.

"Instead of just worrying about a peak hour, you are worrying about 24 hours, because you have energy issues throughout those 24 hours."

That is one of the reasons why the IESO issued a warning on Monday, asking people to cut back on their electricity usage all this week, said Young.

 

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