SaskPower crews have been busy restoring multiple power outages recently in northwest Regina.
There were four outages in the span of a week and they were all caused by common issues.
Jordan Jackle with SaskPower communications, explained there are three main causes of outages across Saskatchewan. Generally, one third are caused by aging infrastructure, one third by weather and one third by wildlife.
“It kind of ran the full gamut of outage causes in Saskatchewan,” he said.
You could call it a string of bad luck that started during a Friday the 13th storm when lightning struck a transmission line north of the city. That knocked out power to 1,400 customers.
The two most recent outages were caused by wildlife. A bird contacted equipment and the lines tripped, affecting 4,900 customers on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, roughly 2,150 customers where in the dark for less than 30 minutes because of a squirrel.
The biggest outage was on Tuesday affecting about 8,000 customers total. That was caused by a blown switch around 2 p.m. While power was restored to most by 4:30 p.m., it took until roughly 8 p.m. to get the remaining 1,500 customers back online. Jackle said it was because crews ran into some trouble with a second switch while rerouting power during repairs.
During these outages, customers were on Twitter expressing their frustration.
Twitter user @darrellgeiss said, “It would be great if you could keep the power on in the NW for more than a couple consecutive days.”
Jackle thanked customers for their patience as crews worked on repairs. Looking forward, he said outages caused by equipment failure are worked into future planning.
“When we’re deciding where to invest in the future and making those strategic investments we are paying attention to where we have had issues in the past.”
While he was not aware of any infrastructure upgrades currently underway in northwest Regina he said SaskPower is investing $9 million on upgrades in downtown Regina this year.
SaskPower also invests about $1 billion per year in upgrades to the grid across Saskatchewan.