Poplar River Power Station, Coronach, Saskatchewan. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

SaskPower reported that one of the two units at the Poplar River Power Station near Coronach is back in service as of Aug. 17.

SaskPower spokesperson Joel Cherry said by email, “Poplar River Unit 2 is back up now, and we hope to have Unit 1 back up in 7-10 days.”

On June 2, local flooding caused significant problems for the 582 megawatt coal-fired power station, basically clogging up the works for the power plant’s cooling water intake. It took months to clear out. That, in turn, caused significant problems for SaskPower during the summer peak power demand season. The power utility at times maximized its imports from Manitoba Hydro or Alberta, and did all that it could to reduce internal operations power consumption during peak demand times to ensure external customers were not affected.. This mean, at times, the Boundary Dam Carbon Capture plant has been shut down. The electrically-powered draglines have also shut down several hours each day to reduce power demand.

SaskPower’s Where Your Power Comes From webpage reflects the resumption of operations at Poplar River. On Aug. 15, coal-fired power once again was over 1,000 megawatts, after spending the summer around 800 megawatts. As units have been retired at Boundary Dam Power Station, Poplar River is now the largest power station, coal-fired or otherwise, in SaskPower’s fleet.

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Flooding shuts down major coal power station, leaving SaskPower scrambling to backfill its output and shed load internally

Total flatline: For 3 hours, 17 minutes on Sunday, not one lightbulb in Saskatchewan was powered by grid-scale wind

SaskPower hit a record summer demand peak on July 31