WHEREAS SaskPower infrastructure is failing;
WHEREAS significant power outages are occurring more often in the south-east corner of the province;
WHEREAS customers are without power for extended lengths of time resulting in SaskPower customers having to install disconnects and purchasing generators to survive the winter outages;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby SaskPower to maintain its infrastructure to ensure customers are provided with continual service.
Response From SaskPower:
April 11, 2019
SaskPower has experienced approximately 13 significant power outages affecting 50 or more customers from January 1st, 2017 to date. Weather and extreme storms have been the cause for approximately 50% of these major outages. Planned power outages are also a major contributor as we are required to turn the power off to perform system upgrades to provide for employee safety in the execution of this work. We appreciate the challenges caused by outages, and work diligently to address them.
SaskPower has invested approximately $2.05M in the last two years performing system upgrades and renewing aging infrastructure in south east Saskatchewan. SaskPower has also spent over $850k in the last year managing vegetation for this area which can have a significant impact to our lines. In addition to distribution system improvements, SaskPower has plans to rebuild/upgrade upstream transmission infrastructure in the area. Significant transmission system improvements for the area are being evaluated to sustain existing infrastructure and improve service reliability. These upgrades will cost approximately $100M and will be staged over several years to optimize delivery of the projects and prudent financial management.
SaskPower maintenance programs evaluate safety, reliability, performance and condition of infrastructure which inform and drive our spending decisions. In 2019 and beyond, SaskPower will continue to strive towards meeting reliability targets, through increased maintenance activities and is working hard to improve reliability across all areas of Saskatchewan, while working hard to keep rates affordable.
M.J. (Mike) Marsh - President and CEO