Reasons for power outages
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:
Bad weather, lightning, tree contacts (33%)
- high winds that bring down trees and branches and cause them to contact power lines;
- lightning hitting power lines or other equipment;
- heavy snow or ice on power lines can cause them to break;
- wood pole or structure fire.
- Equipment failure, adverse environment (33%)
- 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).
Things coming into contact with our power lines (15%)
- 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.