New underground lines set to reduce power cuts in Saskatchewan

A view of the SaskPower building in downtown Regina. Sean Lerat / Global News

SaskPower is replacing aging underground power lines this fall in parts of eight Regina and Saskatoon neighbourhoods.

They hope the 14 km of new cable will help reduce outages for customers.

“This work will help reduce the number of power outages caused by underground cable faults that some of our customers in these areas have been seeing,” said Shawn Schmidt, SaskPower’s vice-president of distribution and customer services.

“About a third of all power outages in Saskatchewan are due to equipment failure, including ones caused by aging infrastructure. These cables are decades old and have simply reached the end of their useful lives.”

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Underground cable replacement is currently underway in some areas of the Lawson Heights, Silverwood, Fairhaven, and Parkridge neighbourhoods in Saskatoon, in addition to the University Park and Sherwood Estates neighbourhoods in Regina.

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In the coming weeks, work will begin in Saskatoon’s East College Park neighbourhood, as well as Regina’s Glencairn Village.

Along with replacing cables, crews will be adding new underground ducting, which houses underground power lines. This will make it easier to install new lines in the future and potentially reduce the time it takes to restore power if an outage does happen.

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The replacement project will require boring, trenching and other construction activity in SaskPower easements.

Power outages will also be required in order to complete the work safely. Impacted customers will receive a visit from a SaskPower contractor or a notification in their mailbox.

The estimated cost for the project this year is $5.5 million.

Next year, SaskPower plans to replace more underground cable in Regina and Saskatoon, as well as a few other locations across the province.

SaskPower invests approximately $1 billion every year to modernize our infrastructure and grow our generation capacity to meet increasing customer demand.

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