July 15, 2019 4:22 pm

SaskPower to begin work on replacing aging underground infrastructure

SaskPower will replace 17 kilometres of aging underground cable and install 80 km of new ductwork in Regina, Saskatoon and other communities this year.

Derek Putz / Global News

SaskPower is warning people of possible upcoming power outages, as they begin work on replacing aging underground power lines.

About 17 kilometres of underground cable is being replaced and 80 km of new ductwork is being installed in a number of communities in the province including Regina and Saskatoon.

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“There is 5,700 km of underground cables throughout urban centres in Saskatchewan,” Shawn Schmidt, SaskPower’s vice-president of distribution and customer services, said.

READ MORE: SaskPower says damaged power lines to blame for Wednesday morning outages

“Aging infrastructure, including underground cables, caused about 35 per cent of unplanned outages in the province last year. Replacing these cables as they reach the end of their service life will help reduce the number of outages caused by cable faults.”

The 80 km of new underground is in conjunction with SaskTel’s deployment of fibre to homes, which is expected to reduce installation costs by up to 40 per cent.

SaskPower said the work could also speed up outage restorations times.

READ MORE: New underground lines set to reduce power cuts in Saskatchewan

The work is being done in the Saskatoon neighbourhood’s Wildwood, Lakeview, River Heights and Dundonald.

Work is also being done at University Park and Albert Park in Regina, Carlton Park in Prince Albert, Sunningdale, VLA/Regal Heights and Westheath in Moose Jaw along with Emerald Park and White City.

The project will cost an estimated $15 million and is part of an ongoing initiative which will see another $11 million invested into underground work in 2020.

WATCH (July 5, 2019): SaskPower focusing on aging infrastructure improvements

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