Extreme Weather Response
Extreme weather is becoming increasingly common as the global climate shifts, which means we can expect to see more frequent and intense storms, more extreme temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, rising sea levels and storm surges. All these factors have the potential to increase the frequency and duration of outages that our customers experience.
We work hard to prepare our systems for extreme weather. When storms hit, we work around the clock to restore service to our communities as quickly and safely as possible. Each of our affiliates has emergency services restoration plans that set out the process and standards we work to achieve.
When the skies are clear, we spend time strengthening and upgrading our network to reduce the impact of storms and severe weather. This can include right-of-way widening, trimming or removing trees that are too close to power lines, replacing older equipment with new technology, and adding new equipment to help improve reliability.
Since 2010, Nova Scotia Power has spent more than $70 million on storm hardening the electricity system, above and beyond our normal $60 million reliability budget. And Tampa Electric invests more than $55 million USD annually in a 10-point plan to strengthen the grid.
“Be prepared” is a sentiment that goes hand-in-hand with our No. 1 priority, safety. Emera companies face different challenges year-round, and work hard to be ready. In Nova Scotia, our Emergency Operations Centre serves as the nerve center during storm restoration planning and response, and is staffed with team members representing all aspects of the company. Tampa Electric’s seven Fold Out Rigid Temporary Shelters (FORTS) are a new and innovative addition to our fleet. These mobile command posts are designed for quick set-up at any location where crews are needed, providing temporary office space in the field.
Emera-wide collaboration after Hurricane Matthew
In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused widespread damage in Grand Bahama, resulting in an island-wide outage for customers. The Grand Bahama Power team collaborated with visiting teams from across Emera companies to work tirelessly on restoration in the weeks that followed. Grand Bahama Power spent approximately $28 million BSD in power restoration and storm hardening infrastructure.
In addition to operational support, team members from across Emera responded with donations to purchase personal care items for people impacted by the hurricane.