Two Kitimat power outages planned for August

BC Hydro working to upgrade Minette Substation.

Work associated with upgrading the Minette Substation on Smelter Way will require two power outages in August.

BC Hydro spokesperson Bob Gammer said the outages are part of the work required for the $82 million upgrade to the substation which feeds power from the grid to commercial and residential clients in Kitimat.

As reported in the Northern Sentinel on July 18, the LNG Canada Interconnection Project involves installing a new 287-kilovolt double circuit transmission line from the substation to the LNG facility, the new transmission line to run along an existing right-of-way.

The planned outage is for work at Minette Substation related to supplying power to the LNG Canada worker camp through underground cables.

“On August 7 we require an outage in the substation to create a safe work zone near energized equipment to allow for the installation of a reactor and a disconnect switch,” said Gammer.

The reactor, in this case, has nothing to do with nuclear power – Gammer said that there are a few types of reactors that BC Hydro uses on their grid.

“What is being installed in Minette Substation is a series reactor. It will allow for us to increase the ampere capacity, or ampacity/load demand of the new 25 kV circuit, that will feed power to the LNGC worker camp,” explained Gammer – basically a device that allows BC Hydro to improve the transmission capacity of power lines.

The two-hour planned outage was originally scheduled for Wednesday, August 7, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. This was changed to 5 a.m to 7 a.m., and changed again on Monday, July 22.

At the time of going to print, the first planned outage will be on Wednesday, August 7, from 3 am to 5 am.

Gammer said the second outage, on Sunday, August 18, is necessary to “restore the normal configuration in the substation and energize the new equipment.”

“The Sunday, August 18, planned outage timing has not been finalized. We are checking with Rio Tinto and are considering the same start and end times as the August 7 outage,” said Gammer.

“For both of these outages we are notifying customers via an autodialler recorded message to the phone number listed on the account and a postcard mailed to each account address.

BC Hydro has appealed to its clients to observe a few guidelines around equipment and safety during the power outages:

* unplug electrical devices

* protect electrical devices from damage – turn off items such as lights, heaters and major appliances and unplug all electrical equipment during this time.

* elevators and garage doors may not work during the outages

* be prepared and stay safe.

Get the latest information on the status of your scheduled outage online or give us a call at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376).

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Kitimat Northern Sentinel