Hydro Quebec responds to frequent outages

0
62

Peter L. Smith

L’ISLE-AUX-ALLUMETTES ­– Julie Leonard, a representative from Hydro Quebec, responded to the frequent outages in L’Isle-aux-Allumettes in an email interview.

Peter L. Smith

L’ISLE-AUX-ALLUMETTES ­– Julie Leonard, a representative from Hydro Quebec, responded to the frequent outages in L’Isle-aux-Allumettes in an email interview.
The municipality is supplied by two different lines: Waltham 221 (180km long) and Waltham 224 (167 km long) which serve 2,268 customers in total; 1,388 customers live in L’Isle-aux-Allumettes. Due to their length, both lines are more susceptible to system disturbances caused by trees, branches, or weather. Leonard also said this
system is unusual since it is supplied by power producer Brookfield through the Waltham generating station, which is synchronized with the Ontario grid.
In 2015, vegetation control was done on close to 1,000 spans (distance between two poles) along the Waltham 221 line and maintenance on another 1,000 spans will be done this year. Waltham 224 had vegetation work done on 1,100 spans between 2013 and 2015.
Leonard noted that brief interruptions are not the same as outages and are  not cause for concern. According to Hydro Quebec’s data, in 2014 there were 22 brief interruptions on Waltham Line 221 and 37 in 2015;
Line 224 had 29 in 2014 and 23 in 2015. Hydro Quebec also said that the brief interruptions on these two lines are comparable to other lines of similar length in Hautes-Laurentides and the Outaouais over the past five years.
According to Hydro Quebec’s data, the System Average Interruption Duration Index (number of hours for outages) has improved. In 2013, L’Isle-aux-Allumettes experienced 118.5 hours of outages due to a major storm in July, while the MRC Pontiac had 67.1 hours of outages; the 2014 data showed 22 hours while 2015 was measured at 15.7.
Hydro Quebec acknowledges that the number of outages are higher in L’Isle-aux-Allumettes than the rest of the MRC Pontiac, which they attribute to problems with the 44-kv system associated with the Ontario grid; this is where almost half the outages occur. The municipality’s frequent and damaging outages this past June
happened in the section where one line of the Ontario producer connects to Hydro Quebec’s system and according to Leonard, Hydro Quebec is investigating the cause.
“Customers are responsible for protecting their electrical devices and guarding them against the consequences of hydro outages,” concluded Leonard. Preventative measures for protecting electronics are outlined on customers’ hydro bills and on Hydro’s website. Any damage claims must be supported with bills or estimates of repairs.