SaskPower’s Wood Pole Program Takes Proactive Approach to Maintenance

April 29, 2019

This year, SaskPower will inspect more than 113,000 wood power poles in the Unity, Kipling, Lumsden, Nipawin, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert areas.

Inspections will involve crews looking for physical damage, as well as signs of decay or carpenter ant infestation. Where possible, poles will be treated, repaired or reinforced. If they can’t be repaired, poles will be marked for replacement.

"This is the seventh year of this 10-year cycle that will ultimately see all of our 1.2 million wood power poles inspected, said Tim Eckel, SaskPower Vice-President of Asset Management, Planning & Sustainability. “This work will help to nearly double the life of the poles, and will also save money – it costs on average 50 times more to replace a pole than to maintain it.”

Work associated with the wood pole maintenance program will also increase safety for SaskPower employees and customers, and help to ensure reliable power is available across the province. Work will be taking place between May and October in the following locations:

  • Unity and area, including Wilkie, Landis and Macklin (May 6 to July 31)
  • Kipling and area, including Whitewood, Grenfell and Broadview (May 6 to July 31)
  • City of Moose Jaw (August 1 to 31)
  • Lumsden and area, including Regina Beach, Chamberlain and Bethune (August 1 to 31)
  • City of Prince Albert (August 1 to September 15)
  • Nipawin and area, including Cumberland House and Carrot River (September 15 to October 30)

Crews will stay within the SaskPower right-of-way as much as possible, however workers may need access to private property in certain cases. Contractors will wear high-visibility clothing and carry identification with them. No power outages are necessary for this work.

Throughout the year, SaskPower also plans to replace more than 1,500 poles in the Weyburn, Saskatoon, Regina, Sturgis, Moosomin, Meadow Lake, Strasburg and Davidson areas that were identified during 2018 inspections.

The estimated total cost of the wood pole maintenance program in 2019 is $10 million, including $4.1 million for inspections and maintenance, and $6.2 million for replacements.

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At a glance...

  • SaskPower will inspect more than 113,000 poles in 2019, focusing on the Unity, Kipling, Lumsden, Nipawin, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert areas
  • SaskPower is investing $10 million to inspect, repair or replace wood power poles this year
  • Saskatchewan has more than 1.2 million wood power poles across the province

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