A letter to Mayor Maloney from Canadian Niagara Power

Posted by Michelle Cuthbert on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

May 11, 2018

Mayor’s Office

City of Port Colborne,

66 Charlotte St.

Port Colborne, ON

L3K 3C8

Dear Mr. Maloney:

Re: May 4th – 7th Weather Related Event

Thank you to you and your staff for taking time to meet with us on May 9, 2018. I am submitting this letter as a formal follow-up.

In response to the recent wind related weather event, please find the following summary that provides timelines and associated activities during the various power outages which affected customers in the City of Port Colborne.

Friday, May 4th, 2018:

During the afternoon, there was a city wide power outage caused by the loss of six poles on the Hydro One owned transmission line that supply power to the Port Colborne power system. Crews from both CNPI and Hydro One were dispatched. Welland Hydro was also contacted with the intent of utilizing an alternate feed.

Welland Hydro began experiencing major outages caused by the wind storm and was unable to support the transfer of Port Colborne customer load. CNPI continued to communicate with customers via social media and direct calls to large customers.

The west side of the city was restored first and then by later on Friday, CNPI was able to transfer customers of the east side of Port Colborne to the Welland Hydro line. All power was restored by 9:05 p.m.

Saturday, May 5th, 2018:

The incoming Hydro One supply line remained unavailable as Hydro One attempted to source a specialized piece of equipment. They indicated an Estimated Time of Restoration (ETR) of approximately 14:30 on May 5th. The current redirection of supply from Welland Hydro remained active.

At approximately noon, the east side of Port Colborne lost power due to fallen ash trees on the lines temporarily supporting these customers by Welland Hydro. Crews were dispatched immediately. Power was restored to the majority of customers (with the exception of 15 customers) by 14:50. Hydro One continued to rebuild the lost infrastructure.

Late Saturday night, customers on the east side lost power from the alternate Welland Hydro feed. This was due to the failure of underground cables that cross the canal. By 22:20, power to all Port Colborne customers was restored. Line patrols were scheduled to continue at daybreak to allow crews necessary downtime required by law.

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Starting at approximately 10:26, permanent repairs were made to equipment that failed late Saturday night. Work also continued in preparation for transfer back to Hydro One supply. At 12:28, transfer back to Hydro One supply was completed successfully with no interruption to customers.

Monday, May 7th, 2018

On Monday, May 7 at approximately 15:00 power was lost to the east side of Port Colborne. The outage was the result of a failed transformer at the Hydro One Port Colborne Transmission substation. All load was automatically transferred to the second transformer on site which resulted in a momentary power outage.

We recognize that the recent outages were frustrating to our customers. The high winds on Friday caused significant damage to six Hydro One transmission towers thereby affecting supply to all Port Colborne customers. Although crews were dispatched immediately to carryout repairs and cooperative switching of load took place with neighboring Welland Hydro, there are times when power remained off during these activities to allow for safe working conditions. Also, within such a dynamic environment, it is difficult to accurately state the ETR, but we do appreciate that providing timely, accurate updates to our customers is important.

As we discussed, CNPI is working with Hydro One to address these issues. We look forward to providing you with information on completed and planned system improvements during the June 25th Council session as well as answering any additional questions and/or concerns you may have.


John Sander

Manager, Customer Engagement

Canadian Niagara Power Inc.

c. Jie Han, Kristine Carmichael, Don Gilbert

To view the letter, click here.


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