SaskPower Investing to Renew Power Grid, Support Growth in the Wynyard-Wadena Area
November 07, 2016
About 42 per cent of a residential power bill goes towards the province's electrical system. This year, SaskPower has been working on projects worth $13 million in the Wynyard-Wadena area to keep up with growing demand, meet environmental commitments and renew an aging power grid.
"SaskPower is facing an ongoing challenge," says Tim Eckel, Vice President of Transmission Services. "As the demand for power continues to grow, we not only need to build the grid, but we need to maintain our existing assets, including our power lines, transformers, stations and power plants. We're investing about $1 billion a year throughout Saskatchewan to make sure homes, farms and businesses have the power they need, when they need it."
Power reliability issues experienced this past summer in the area were partly due to an aging substation. Substations are important parts of the electrical system because they transform electricity from high to low voltage before delivering power to customers. Work is underway to construct a new $3.3 million Wadena substation. SaskPower expects construction to begin in mid-2017.
Work has begun on a $5 million project to expand SaskPower's Bankend station. SaskPower is adding electrical facilities in the station that will result in two power line connections at the station to provide more than one power source, increasing power reliability in the area. Construction is scheduled to begin next year.
In 2016, an additional $4.5 million in maintenance work has also been undertaken in the Wynyard-Wadena region, which includes: Wynyard, Wadena, Foam Lake, Dafoe, Fosston, Rose Valley, Marean Lake, Greenwater Lake, Hendon, Kelvington, Kylemore, Kuroki, Margo, Paswegan, Clair and surrounding rural area.
So far in 2016, customers in the area have made over 30 new connection or reconstruction requests. Maintenance work includes replacing/reinforcing aging wood poles, upgrading or replacing electrical devices that assist field technicians in finding problems in our system, upgrading electrical devices that protect the system's power lines and substations, and trimming trees near power lines.
Eckel noted that in order to safely complete ongoing system improvements, planned outages might be required. Customers will be notified in advance. Planned power outages are listed on saskpower.com and on Twitter@SaskPower.
At a glance...
- Just over $13 million has been allocated to the region in 2016 as part of SaskPower's $1 billion annual investment in the province's electrical system.
- Work is underway to construct a new $3.3 million Wadena substation.
- An additional project, worth $5 million, is under development to increase local power.
- Aging infrastructure causes approximately 34 per cent of unplanned outages in Saskatchewan.
- This year, 42 per cent of your SaskPower bill will go toward electrical infrastructure.