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Reasons for power outages

Manitoba Hydro crews restoring power after an outage.

Manitoba Hydro crews restoring power after an outage.

Enlarge image: 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%)
  2. 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).
  3. 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.