Increased Funding for Rural Electrical Rebuilds
Number: 32 - 13M
WHEREAS the current location of above ground power poles create potential safety hazards which may result in deaths and injuries each year; and
WHEREAS past line height requirements are no longer sufficient for the size of equipment used by producers, resulting in increased incidents of equipment contacting power lines in fields; and
WHEREAS producers going around the poles use extra fuel, fertilizer and chemical resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions, negatively impacting the environment; and
WHEREAS producers going around the poles increases their operating costs and creates safety hazards;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby SaskPower to increase funding for Rural Electrical Rebuild Projects so that all power poles could be moved to the road allowance within the next five or ten years.
Response from Mike Marsh, Vice-President & Chief Operations Officer, SaskPower
SaskPower is spending $15 million in 2013 relocating approximately 800 km of rural electrical lines, up from $5.2 million spent in 2011 and almost $10 million spent in 2012. Beginning in 2014 and into the future SaskPower will increase the annual budget for the program to $20 million to relocate more than 1,000 km of rural electrical lines per year.
SaskPower has more than 30,000 km of 14.4kV lines located in fields in the province and while we understand the issue and will ramp up our programs, replacing those facilities in 5-10 years is not a realistic expectation. Removing lines from cultivated areas and increasing the height of new lines are two of the primary factors considered in prioritizing projects under the rural rebuild program. As the number of farm services declines SaskPower is also salvaging more than 200 services annually.