LOUISBOURG, N.S. — Nova Scotia Power is conducting $900,000 worth of forestry work along highways in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality over the next number of weeks.
The work is part of the utility’s $25-million provincewide forestry project that sees contractors working year-round to cut back trees from power lines.
While this is part of pre-planned work and not related to hurricane Dorian that arrived in Nova Scotia has a post-tropical storm in September brought damaging winds to the province, a NSP spokesperson told the Cape Breton Post that contractors are encountering trees that were knocked down or damaged in the storm.
“Trees are the number one cause of outages, particularly during storms with high winds (like Dorian) or heavy snow or ice,” David Rodenhiser, spokesperson for Nova Scotia Power told the Cape Breton Post.
“We trim trees on land we own or through right-of-way access agreements, but most of our lines cross heavily treed private and government-owned lands. Together with our customers, we work to identify and trim trees at risk of impacting the electrical system, improving service reliability and reducing the number of tree and weather-related outages for customers.”
By the numbers
Nova Scotia Power Forestry Program
- $900,000 work in Cape Breton
- $25 million province wide
- $160,000 budget for current work near Louisbourg
- $80 million NSP annual investment in system maintenance and upgrades
- 32,000 kilometres of lines
Current efforts in the CBRM are underway near Louisbourg as part of the NSP forestry program where contractors are clearing trees back from the right-of-way on Highway 22 between Morrison Road and Hornes Road.
That stretch of work is six kilometres in length with a budget of about $160,000. Work started on Oct. 9 and is expected to conclude by the end of November.
Other aspects of NSP forestry work in the CBRM is being conducting in and around Albert Bridge, Mira Gut and Birch Grove.
Crews started near Mira Gut in early June and worked through the summer, completing that section in late August. Work along Highway 255 will begin in the middle of this month and take about a month to finish.
“This is on top of the $80 million we invest annually in system maintenance and upgrades to our transmission and distribution systems to minimize the risk of unplanned power outages and to improve service reliability for our customers,” according to Rodenhiser.
“We have 32,000 kilometres of lines, so it’s an ongoing process but we have made significant progress in recent years.”