Reasons for power outages

Manitoba Hydro crews restoring power after an outage.

Manitoba Hydro crews restoring power after an outage.

We collect information on outages to determine how we can improve reliability. Improvements include:

  • replacing the older parts of our system;
  • making greater use of technology to help us respond to outages more quickly;
  • installing animal guards on equipment where there’s been outages due to wildlife contact;
  • trimming trees in areas that have a high number of outages due to branches contacting lines.

Recently there’s been more outages caused by agricultural, construction, and snow removal equipment that has come into contact with a power line or wood pole. As a result we have developed safety programs for customers who use large and heavy motor vehicles.

The most common reasons for power outages in Manitoba:

  1. Bad weather, lightning, tree contacts
    (33% of outages from 2013–2017)
  2. Equipment failure, adverse environment
    (33% of outages from 2013–2017)
    • downed power lines;
    • a broken or fallen pole, or old infrastructure;
    • faulted transformer, failed line fuse, or a problem at a substation;
    • equipment failure due to technical problems within the equipment or abnormal environmental conditions (fire, flood, corrosion).
  3. Things coming into contact with our power lines
    (15% of outages from 2013–2017)
    • animals can cause short circuits by contacting power lines or other equipment;
    • birds landing on power lines or transformers can trip fuses;
    • objects, such as shoes or kites, hanging from power lines;
    • vehicle collisions with power lines, poles, or other equipment;
    • heavy equipment, such as a crane at a construction site, coming into contact with a power line;
    • cut underground wires by digging without proper line locations and clearances.