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Power stations restored, but outages remain: SaskPower
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2018 10:56AM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 5, 2018 6:31PM CST
The province’s three power stations have been restored, but SaskPower says there are still some outages in the province.
SaskPower estimates at its peak, 175,000 to 200,000 customers were without power on Tuesday.
Boundary Dam, Shand and Poplar River power stations all tripped on Tuesday morning after two key transmission lines failed. SaskPower representative Jordan Jackle said the stations are designed to trip when transmission lines fail because power being generated can’t go anywhere.
"At 9:00 we lost two very important transmission lines in the southeast, which caused the outage. The level of grid instability caused by that transmission loss is what caused our power stations, poplar river, Boundary Dam and Shand to go down,” Jackle said.
SaskPower said the massive outage on Tuesday was caused by a unique weather event, with frost building up on the power lines since late last week. At its peak, 175,000 to 200,000 customers were without power for most of the day.
"Probably one of the biggest outages, if not the biggest outage since about 1981 when the entire province went down for some time,” Jackle said.
Crews are still working to repair any damage and making permanent repairs to lines. Issues continued on Wednesday, SaskPower experienced more outages near Moose Jaw and around the province, saying the only way to fix the frost on the lines is a sunny day.
"In the southeast we've experienced an outage as well, as well as some areas around Saskatoon, particularly to the east. This is something that we might expect a little bit more of,” Jackle said.
The frost caused lines to sag or fall. SaskPower is reminding people not to approach downed lines or try to remove any frost, since damaged lines could still be live.
The Crown added it’s not currently looking into the cost of the outage. Hundreds of crews worked on Tuesday to restore power to the province.
According to SaskPower, it has the capacity to bring in power from other places, like Manitoba, if power outages persist.
SaskPower is also reminding residents to never operate a generator in an enclosed building as it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Anyone using a generator needs to install a transfer switch. Without that switch, the generator will feed back into the power lines, making it dangerous for workers.
SaskPower is telling any customers that still don't have power to contact SaskPower's outage centre.