Yesterday FortisAlberta experienced outages in the Central/Eastern part of our service territory as a result of heavy frost and galloping lines. Approximately 1,850 customers were without power in pockets off Hwy 13, east of Camrose and larger outages affected the Wainwright and Provost areas.
Approximately 60 Power Line Technicians were mobilized from other areas to assist with restoration, and power was fully restored by the evening. The System Operators and Dispatch also had full hands on deck monitoring affected areas.
We understand that momentary interruptions can be disruptive, particularly when electronic equipment must be reset or restarted as a result. What is important to note, is that FortisAlberta’s system is designed to operate this way to prevent outages longer in duration.
There are instances when FortisAlberta’s experiences momentary faults on its circuits as a result of lightning, animal contacts, tree branches, faulty equipment, or vehicles hitting poles. Instead of the feeder breaker (circuit breaker) opening permanently and exposing you to an extended outage, our system is designed to try and reclose the breaker a fraction of a second after the initial fault. This allows FortisAlberta to continue delivering power in situations where we are experiencing a momentary fault. If this system was not in place, the momentary outages you experienced during these events would have been permanent outages lasting minutes or longer.
We attempt to minimize the interruptions our customers experience through maintenance and capital programs, such as our ongoing tree trimming program, bird proofing and pole line rebuilds that are intended to ensure safe and reliable operation of the electrical system.
Outages and disturbances to transmission and distribution facilities are expected in the normal course of operations. Customers are encouraged to protect all their electrical facilities and devices from outages and disturbances to transmission and distribution supply, as outages and disturbances can be expected from time to time from causes beyond the control of the electricity service providers. We encourage customers to investigate the coverage afforded under their home-owners insurance policy.