5 Questions with Ryan Blair on Power Outages in Regina this Summer
September 25, 2017
If you live in Regina, it might've seemed like the summer of 2017 brought on more power outages than you're used to having. We sat down with Ryan Blair, Operating Manager in the Regina Area, to get to the bottom of the story.
What was causing the outages in Regina?
The vast majority of outages in Regina this summer were due to our work to address the ongoing ground shifting issues. In order to ensure the safety of our employees and the public we needed to shut off the power to a group of customers for the inspection team to do its work, and then again later if a repair was needed. In the event of a meter box failure, we took no chances and shut off power to that area until our crews could confirm it was safe to turn it back on again.
How does this compare to other years?
Regina saw more than double the number of power outages this summer compared to 2016. This increase is primarily due to the work we performed to inspect meters in at-risk neighbourhoods, which contributed to 402 planned outages in the July/August period in Regina, compared to 87 planned outages in same timeframe last year. On top of that, we're still seeing the typical power outages caused by equipment issues or wildlife knocking out equipment. We also experienced major underground cable outages as a result of the ground shifting.
Why does my area seem to be more susceptible to outages than other areas in Regina?
If this is something you were just noticing this summer, chances are you're living in a neighbourhood where we were inspecting meters (Normanview, Uplands, Glencairn, Albert Park, Parliament Place, Dieppe, Mount Royal, and Coronation Park)” or you are simply on the same line that provides power to one of these areas. If you have an overhead power line in your yard with trees or shrubs nearby, you may also be more susceptible. You can request tree trimming for free through our website.
What are you doing to prevent outages?
You're counting on us to supply the electricity you need when you need it. That's why we constantly assess the performance of our system and monitor which areas are experiencing outages and why. We then use that information to plan future upgrades. SaskPower has a serious challenge ahead as we work to balance the need to renew and rebuild the electrical system with the increasing power demands in the province.
Where can I go to learn more about causes of the outage?