Copper Thefts Continue At Newfoundland Power High Voltage Substations
Vandalism and copper theft continue at High Voltage Substations despite strong warnings.
Newfoundland Power is extremely concerned that vandals are continuing to illegally enter its high voltage substations and damaging the province’s electricity system. Warnings regarding the significant danger of entering these high voltage facilities that put the lives of the Company’s employees and the public at risk are not being respected or followed.
On or before Sunday, December 4, vandals illegally entered the Company’s Lethbridge Substation on the Bonavista Peninsula. The vandals cut a hole in the substation fence, caused damage to electrical equipment and stole copper grounding wire that was connected to the high voltage electricity grid, compromising the integrity and reliability of the electricity system. There was also a break-in at the Company’s Boyd’s Cove Substation near Twillingate at the end of November.
“This illegal activity has to stop before it is too late and someone is seriously injured or killed,” stressed Gary Murray, Vice President, Engineering and Operations, Newfoundland Power. “We responded as soon as the alarm system in the building was activated which appeared to deter the vandals.” The grounding wire that was stolen is an important part of the substation safety protection system. Once tampered with or removed, it makes it extremely dangerous for employees to enter to make repairs, putting them in harm’s way unnecessarily. Recent acts of vandalism have also had a direct impact on customers with lengthy outages required in several instances to safely make repairs.
“We are taking this very seriously and every incident is reported to the police for investigation. We are appealing to the public to help put a stop to this dangerous, illegal activity and have increased the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of these individuals from $5,000 to $10,000,” added Murray.
Newfoundland Power will pay $10,000 to any individual for the information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person, or persons, responsible for this crime. Anyone with information regarding this incident, or any act of theft or vandalism to electrical equipment, is encouraged to contact their local Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary detachment or Crime Stoppers.
Newfoundland Power is the primary distributer of electricity on the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador, and purchases 93% of its energy needs from Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. With a customer base of approximately 263,000 accounts, Newfoundland Power is committed to safety, dedicated to the highest level of customer service and delivers reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost. For more information on Newfoundland Power’s programs, services and community partnerships, please visit newfoundlandpower.com.
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