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Northpower works hard to fix storm related faults


Date: Tuesday 13th June 2006

Subject: Northpower works hard to repair storm related faults

Northpower staff were busy from early Monday morning, working hard to repair faults to minimise the power supply outage time for customers. Additional staff were assigned to cope with the workload caused by the stormy conditions.

Most customers affected by the outages went without power for only minutes. A small portion of customers located in remote or exposed places were affected for a few hours. Those affected for the longer periods were in areas which were susceptible to strong gusty winds and severe storm conditions.

Many of the faults were caused by trees, some of which broke wires after being blown into power lines. Trees close to power lines are dangerous and are a major cause of power supply outages, especially in these conditions. Approximately 25% of Monday’s problems were caused by trees.

Northpower’s Network Services Manager Calvin Whaley said, it was a pity that some tree and shelter belt owners did not maintain their trees. Mr Whaley said that regular maintenance (by tree owners) would minimise the risk posed to power lines during high winds and cause less hassle for the large number of customers affected.

Northpower commits year round to providing a safe, reliable, hassle free service. The company has a stringent maintenance regime to ensure that its service remains this way. Northpower carries out regular line inspections to examine the condition of the network and regular maintenance work to ensure that electricity is delivered safely and with minimal disruptions.

It is important to Northpower that customers receive the best possible service and that annual SAIDI figures are kept down. SAIDI is the measure of the average number of minutes customers are without power in a year, due to faults or planned outages. Quality network maintenance and investment in new technologies have resulted in an improving trend of SAIDI over the years. Last year, Northpower came in slightly under the 90 minute target with 89.5 SAIDI minutes, for faults. Although it was not a record low, it was consistent with the average annual reduction of 5.8 minutes, which has occurred over the last 13 years. The reduction means customers are likely to have an hour and a quarter less fault outage time now, than in 1993.


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