A big investment into electricity is underway in the northwest.
SaskPower is investing over $110 million to upgrade portions of the power grid in the Battlefords and Lloydminster along with surrounding communities including Unity, Biggar and Turtle Lake.
Spokesperson for SaskPower, Heather Johnson said every year SaskPower invests approximately $1 billion dollars into the province’s electrical system, and this year the crown is focusing its spending on the Battlefords and Lloydminster area.
“We’re doing a fair bit of work upgrading portions of the grid there. Putting a lot of upgrades into things like substations and switching stations, and equipment that’s used to distribute the power and get it to customers,” Johnson said.
Over $100 million is going towards regional work which includes building new stations which deliver power to the Rutland, Edam, Superb and Golden Lake areas. Some post-construction work continues to connect the stations to the system, which is expected to be complete in early 2017.
Meanwhile over $10 million is going to system maintenance for the Battlefords and Lloydminster areas which includes upgrading or replacing stations, inspecting and repairing wood poles, and upgrading or replacing electrical devices that protect power lines.
“…the demand for power in that particular region has seen some really large increases over the past 10 years or so and the upgrades that we’re doing to that area will help us support that growth,” Johnson said. “As well, it’ll help improve the reliability in that area.”
Johnson said SaskPower found approximately 35 per cent of all unplanned outages in the province come from aging equipment so the investment will improve the reliability of the power grid.
“Just like your vehicle, you need to keep it maintained and upgraded, and that sort of thing and it improves the performance. Along the same idea, by maintaining, upgrading and improving all the infrastructure around power, people will see better performance from their power,” she said.
Matt Kelly is battlefordsNOW's town municipal affairs and community reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @mattjkelly2.
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