Environment Posts

What is SALT SPRAY and how does it affect the electricity system?

What is SALT SPRAY and how does it affect the electricity system?

When strong winds blow over the ocean, the wind can pick up salt from the sea – this is called salt contaminated moisture or salt spray.

 

As it is blown around by the wind, salt will deposit on every surface it encounters such as trees, vehicles, buildings, and most critical for electrical utilities, power line insulators. When enough salt builds up the insulating capability of power line insulators can become compromised. When this happens they start to break down causing very small amounts of electricity to flow over the surface of the insulator. This can be heard as a faint buzzing sound, and when it’s dark out, you may even see intermittent sparks that appear to jump along the surface of the insulator. These sparks of electricity are nothing to fear or be concerned about. This sparking may last for hours or even days, depending on the weather. They will disappear when the sparking either burns away the salt deposits or rain/snow washes it away.

 

Occasionally, salt contamination on insulators can become severe enough to cause short circuits to develop. These are heard as very loud bursts of noise and seen as electrical arcing flashes – but for very short periods of time – a split second. These short circuits may cause momentary power outages (between 2 to 15 seconds). There is no need to report these power interruptions.

 

Sometimes salt spray contamination can result in longer outages (a period of hours or even days) until crews can replace the affected equipment or weather conditions improve. If your power is out for longer than a few minutes, please report using our outage line: 1-800-474-5711 or our online outage form: https://www.newfoundlandpower.com/Outages/Report-a-Power-Outage.

 

Depending on wind speeds this salty air can be carried over long distances. This means you don’t have to live next to the ocean for you to see/experience the effects the salt can have on the electricity system.

 

Always ensure you are prepared for an outage. Our weather can be unpredictable, so make sure to sign up for our Outage Alert service and always have an emergency kit on hand. For more information visit https://www.newfoundlandpower.com/Outages/About-Outages/Prepare-for-an-Outage.

Launch of the First Osprey NestCam in Newfoundland and Labrador

Launch of the First Osprey NestCam in Newfoundland and Labrador

On May 29, we launched the first Osprey NestCam in the province! Through a live video stream, you can get a bird’s eye view of the osprey nesting on a special platform at the Virginia Waters Substation on Snow’s Lane in St. John’s.

Safety is paramount at Newfoundland Power, so we developed a management plan to reduce potential impacts to migratory birds, while minimizing any operational effects. Relocating nests to specialized platforms provides nesting sites for protected species, while minimizing risks of electrocution, equipment damage, power outages, and even fire if debris falls onto energized power lines.

In 2016, Newfoundland Power was contacted by Ornithologist, Rob Bierregaard from Drexel University in Pennsylvania, who was very interested in tagging several juvenile Newfoundland osprey to track their migratory journey to and from their southern homes on the border of Columbia and Venezuela. One osprey in particular, named Shanawdithit, after the last known living member of the Beothuk people, has been actively migrating each year and has gained quite a following since being tagged.

We discovered Shanawdithit has a partner, but we didn’t have a name for him, so we decided to launch a “Name the Daddy Osprey Competition”, open to students across the island. Aurora Drew Hickey, an 11 year-old Grade 5 student at St. Francis of Assisi in Outer Cove answered the call and named the Daddy Osprey, Beaumount. When we launched the competition, we asked that students submit a name that has a very strong connection to the province, just like Shanawdithit. We agreed with Aurora and felt that the name Beaumont is a very appropriate tribute to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives over 100 years ago.

If you’d like to follow Shanawdithit and Beaumont, you can view the NestCam here. Please be advised that this live feed shows birds in their natural habitat, so events may occur unexpectedly and may not be appropriate for all viewers.

Happy viewing!

EnviroFest 2017 – Celebrating 20 years!

EnviroFest 2017 – Celebrating 20 years!

At Newfoundland Power we’re committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner while enhancing the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. We take pride in the difference our employees have made in communities across the island through our employee-driven Environmental Commitment Program.

EnviroFest is our annual celebration of the environment and this year we celebrated 20 years of hosting beautification projects across the province. Our employees dig in and play a hands-on role in the projects by volunteering, working right alongside our community partners.

We once again invited municipalities and community groups to submit proposals early in March and the great projects highlighted below were completed in June.

Carmanville: Approximately 20 volunteers, including MHA Derrick Bragg, were on hand to construct 10 planter boxes located at the town council office and another was constructed for the senior’s home in the community.

St. Mark’s School – King’s Cove: We had another great turnout from the community, employees and Minister Eddie Joyce and MHA Neil King dropped by. Employees and volunteers created an outdoor classroom and cleaned up around the school to make way for planter boxes that were filled with vegetable plants and flowers.

Tom McCormick Memorial Park – Bristol’s Hope: Approximately 40 employee volunteers and residents, along with Minister Steve Crocker, were on hand to lay over 4,000 square feet of sods in under one hour and planted trees/shrubs and flowers.

Steady Brook: We worked with the Corner Brook Stream Trail Association to plant trees and shrubs at the beginning of the trail in Steady Brook that will eventually connect with the trail in Corner Brook. Our partnership with the Corner Brook Stream Trail Association has spanned almost 15 years and it was great to work them again.

We’d like to help with your environmental project…

At Newfoundland Power we’re committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner while enhancing the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. We take pride in the difference our employees have made in communities across the island through our employee-driven Environmental Commitment Program. And to be recognized last year as an environmental leader in our province with the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Award for Business really meant a lot.

EnviroFest is our annual celebration of the environment which takes place during National Environment Week. In fact, we’ve been hosting EnviroFest for almost 20 years now! Each year, our employees dig in and play a hands-on role in the projects by volunteering, working right alongside our community partners. They like getting their hands dirty whether it’s planting trees, flowers and shrubs to beautify a green space or filling up bags with garbage at a community clean up. We like all shades of green, so if you’re improving a park area, enhancing a trail system, starting a recycling program or transforming a green space, we want to help.

We are accepting proposals for community-based environmental projects across the island right now. Don’t miss out – get your proposal in today! The deadline is 4:00 p.m., Friday, April 15, 2016. Successful applicants will be notified on Friday, April 22, 2016.

After all, it’s the environmental actions we take today that will make a BIG difference tomorrow. Let’s leave a positive environmental legacy for many years to come…to be enjoyed by our children and our children’s children.Envirofest 2016