REGINA -- SaskPower stepped up last week to help the people of Texas who were left without power, by sending electricity south.

When the request for help first came in, SaskPower started providing 150 megawatts to the U.S., later upping that to 175 megawatts for a short time.

So how does it work?

SaskPower says they export electricity into North Dakota via a transmission line that sits near the Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan. North Dakota is one of the 14 States within what’s called the “Southwest Power Pool” or SPP for short. It’s a publicly posted market. They flip a switch and the power starts flowing to the North Dakota power grid, then on down to whichever of those 14 States needs the power. Texas does have their own power grid but do remain part of this group, so yes, they can get power from other grids.

Just how much power is that?

A single megawatt is equal to one thousand kilowatts. It's a massive amount of power. A single megawatt can supply roughly 600 homes. 

Who pays for it?

I knew you’d ask… SaskPower says the electricity isn’t donated. It’s paid for by the States at current market value. They send them a bill. No cost to any Saskatchewan ratepayer.