Hydro plan aims to blackout power failures.
A city work crew fixes a traffic light standard in Kanata. Two pieces of equipment have been replaced by Hydro Ottawa after recent power outages reveal aging infrastructure.
Hydro Ottawa replaced two pieces of equipment just before the new year and is set to review the entire distribution system in Kanata.
After a number of outages in the area over the past several months, Hydro Ottawa stepped up its time frame to inspect and replace or repair old equipment.
“We’re aware that outages have occurred because some older equipment was scheduled to be replaced (later this) year,” said Claudia Lemieux, spokesperson for Hydro Ottawa.
“We feel that we need to expedite that … We feel that due to the outages we’ve experienced in the last little while we need to take a look at it.”
Two pieces of equipment were replaced by Dec. 24 after two outages in the Bridlewood area, one on Dec. 12 and one on Dec. 13, said Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley.
“The two pieces of equipment accounted for over 5,000 homes so that’s why it had such a major impact,” said Hubley.
Some homes were without power for up to four hours during one of the outages.
He said after discussing the recent power failures with Hydro Ottawa, the organization launched a five-part plan to address the reliability issue.
“What they’re going to do for us … is go over the entire Kanata south network,” said Hubley. “(To) make sure there are no other pieces that are close to failing.”
The five-part plan includes:
- Replacing the two pieces of equipment that triggered the most recent outages by Dec. 24.
- Reviewing the entire distribution system in Kanata, including: system configuration and automation to aid in quicker restoration; system co-ordination to reduce the number of customers affected by outages; and the creation of new circuit ties to allow for alternate supply points in Kanata.
- Fast tracking inspection efforts in Kanata so that aging equipment such as cables, distribution transformers and switch gear, that is problematic or in need of replacement is addressed and fixed.
- Assigning additional crew members to the area to boost the number of staff focused on infrastructure and reliability issues and provide faster response times during a power failure.
- Using condition monitoring systems at the Kanata, Marchwood and Bridlewood transformer stations in the new year.
“We want to try to keep the outages as low as possible,” said Hubley. “We all know how expensive groceries are today; nobody wants to lose their groceries.”
TERRY FOX STATION
Lemieux said the new $20-million Terry Fox station, which is currently under construction, will go a long way towards reducing the loss of power and the duration of outages when it goes online by the end of 2013.
“That’s going to help because the growth in Kanata has been huge,” she said. “The bottom line is we want all our customers to be satisfied, so we’re going to do whatever we can to improve the situation there.”
Hubley said the Terry Fox station will act as a backup during outages as well as provide additional capacity for the west end as new homes continue to be built.
“(Hydro’s) expectation is to have the new substation online by the end of 2013 – one, to provide the extra capacity in case the Bridlewood substation goes down, but also (to) have infrastructure in place before people move in to new homes,” said the councillor. “By the end of this year we will be OK.”