Elecricity demand is down 10 per cent across the province, an unprecedented decline sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a BC Hydro report.
Power demand across hotels, offices, recreational facilities and restaurants have dwindled as British Columbians self isolate.
The shortfall means there’s a surplus of water in reservoirs across the province.
“This drop in load in addition to the spring snow melt is causing our reservoirs to reach near capacity, which could lead to environmental concerns, as well as public safety risks if we don’t address the challenges now,” said spokesperson Tanya Fish.
Crews will have to strategically spill reservoirs to keep them from overflowing, a process that can have negative impacts on downstream ecosystems. Excessive spilling can increase fish mortality rates.
Spilling is currently underway at the Seven Mile and Revelstoke reservoirs. In addition, several small plants have been shut down.