5 Questions About Underground Cable Replacement

July 15, 2019

Photo of Parker Neuls

Quotables:

  • When there's cracks or holes in the cables’ insulation caused by age, it shorts the cable. This makes the cable fail and outages happen.
  • That's why we're replacing 17 km of underground cables around Saskatchewan this year.
  • The estimated cost of this 2019/20 project is $15 million.

You can’t see underground cables, but they’re one of the ways we get power to you. We’re replacing some of these cables across the province. To find out why and how this’ll affect you, we sat down with Parker Neuls, Manager, Distribution Construction, to learn more.

  1. Why are you replacing underground cables?

    It's because the cables we're replacing have reached their end of life. Meaning they're more likely to cause outages.

    Aging equipment caused 35% of unplanned outages last year!

    When there's cracks or holes in the cables’ insulation caused by age, it shorts the cable. This makes the cable fail and outages happen.

    That's why we're replacing 17 km of underground cables around Saskatchewan this year. We’re also installing 80 km of duct work. This will make it easier to install new cables in the future.

  2. What kind of work does this involve?

    To access the aging cables, we'll need to bore and trench the area. To do this safely, power outages will occur.

    In some places, we'll need to remove the transformer and install pedestals.

  3. How will this impact me?

    This year, we’re working in these neighbourhoods:

    • University Park, Regina
    • Albert Park, Regina
    • Argyle Park, Regina
    • Carlton Park, Prince Albert
    • Wildwood, Saskatoon
    • Lakeview, Saskatoon
    • River Heights, Saskatoon
    • Dundonald, Saskatoon
    • Sunningdale, Moose Jaw
    • VLA/Regal Heights, Moose Jaw
    • Westheath, Moose Jaw
    • Emerald Park
    • White City

    To ensure everyone’s safety, some road restrictions will be set up during construction. You may also experience noise caused by equipment working in the area and power outages. If you're affected by outages, we'll let you know.

  4. How much will this cost?

    The estimated cost of this 2019/20 project is $15 million.
    Right now, we’re in year 4 of this 7 year project. So far, we’ve invested $10 million to complete 85 km of cables. In 2020/21, we plan to replace 90 km of duct installation. The budgeted cost for next year’s work is $11 million.

  5. Will there be power outages?

    Yes. To replace cables safely power outages will happen. Depending on the work, outages may last up to 8 hours.

    If an outage is going to affect you, we'll leave a notice in your mailbox or have a SaskPower contractor visit you.

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