Power generation from coal powered-plants was without one notable facility as the Poplar River Power Plant was shut down for a couple of months.

That was due to a recent heavy rainfall dislodging debris that made its way into the intake for that system, taking time to clean out and repair.

Now, the system is back up and running again, though only partially.

Joel Cherry, a Spokesperson for SaskPower, says they're making progress towards getting all 582 Megawatts back online.

“I can report now that as of a couple of days ago, Poplar River has 2 units there, Unit 2 is back online and operating at full capacity. We're making really good progress on Unit 1 as well. It took some time to get the plant back up, clearing all the debris out of there, our wells and intakes were all completely filled with mud and we had to just flush a lot of water through there and continually clean the pipes until it ran clean again before we could run the plant again."

The incident that caused this shutdown is unlikely to happen to any of the other coal power plants in the province.

"This hasn't happened at other plants before, this is kind of an unusual occurrence. The way that the reservoir that we use for cooling water at Poplar River works is different than what we have at the Shand and Boundary Dam power stations," said Cherry, "We don't consider those to be at high risk of flooding, but certainly, any manner of issues can affect the power station."

Cherry says that they do often deal with planned and unplanned power losses, which is why they've got a number of methods to deal with that.

“There's a number of things that we could do. Thankfully the rest of our generating leads held up well during that period. We're able to defer maintenance in some cases, if we had planned maintenance in another plant, we put that off until after to make sure the power is available from those facilities." 

“We also took advantage of imports whenever we could from our neighbors. We have tie lines with Manitoba and Alberta and with the United States, we didn't import as much from the United States. Where we could, we also imported power to backstop our own system as well.”

As much of Saskatchewan will see another day with potentially record-breaking heat, Cherry asks that people take steps like closing their blinds to keep power consumption low.

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