Community Reliability Meeting: A Letter to Lunenburg County

A Letter to Lunenburg County

May 9, 2024

Members of our Reliability team at Nova Scotia Power were pleased to work with the MLA for Lunenburg, Susan Corkum-Greek, and hold a community meeting, Thursday, May 9, 2024, to talk about reliability of service in Lunenburg County (Barss Corner, Walden, Newburne, and Cornwall). It was an opportunity for us to answer questions, listen to concerns, and share information about the work that has been done in your area, as well as what is planned and underway this year.

We appreciate these opportunities as we take our job of managing and maintaining the electricity grid—and our commitment to providing safe, reliable service to our customers—very seriously. We understand the impact outages can have, which is why we work throughout the year to ensure we are maintaining our infrastructure, keeping trees away from our power lines, and are prepared for storms and severe weather.

Extreme Weather

In the last year and a half, Nova Scotia has experienced multiple winter storms, a hurricane, an extreme cold snap, wildfires, flooding, record lightning, and back-to-back windstorms. Our province is also seeing more wind reaching 80km an hour. To put that into perspective, the average number of hours of wind gusts over 80km an hour in Nova Scotia in the last five years is up 54% from the five years before that. So, as the weather changes, our response is changing too.  


We are investing roughly $230 million in reliability across Nova Scotia this year. That’s up from about $180 million. These investments include replacing deteriorating equipment, maintenance and tree trimming, and installing more robust equipment—all aimed at strengthening the grid to withstand the more extreme weather we’re experiencing more often.

Vegetation Management (tree trimming)  

Tree trimming is an area we invest a significant amount each year. This work is critical as trees coming into contact with power lines is the number one reason for outages. This year, we are investing nearly $45 million, which is up from $32 million last year (2023) and roughly $25 million the year before that (2022).

Since 2018, about $1.7 million has been invested to trim and/or remove trees and branches along 66 kilometres of power line in Lunenburg County. Our team is investing another $1.8 million this year to clear an additional 70 kilometres. This work will reduce the risk of trees coming into contact with power lines in this area, improving reliability.

Work has also been done to widen the edge of the forest along 3.4 kilometres of the transmission line that serves Lunenburg County. In light of this work, there have been no outages caused by trees on this transmission line in more than five years.

We are authorized by Public Works to remove trees and other vegetation from the area of our lines, up to 10 meters from centre of the road. Any clearing beyond this requires permission from the property owner. We continue to work with private landowners, municipalities, and the province for permission to remove trees.

Upgrades and Maintenance

Along with tree trimming, we’ve been doing other proactive upgrades and maintenance throughout the year using equipment that’s designed to better withstand the severe weather. This includes bigger, stronger poles and more robust insulators designed for equipment exposed in coastal areas and impacted by significant storms.

Our power lines in communities are inspected twice a year. The main power lines serving customers in Barss Corner, Walden, Newburne, and Cornwall were all inspected in 2023. As a result, some work related to poles and transformers is being prioritized into this year’s work plans. This is in addition to work already underway, including replacing/repairing transmission switches and maintenance and upgrades at the two substations that service these communities. The investment for these projects is approximately $230,000.

Power outages can be caused by several factors, including extreme weather, trees coming into contact with power lines, wildlife, aging equipment, and car accidents. We are committed to continuing to work to reduce all outages. Our customers expect and deserve safe, reliable service and we are committed to delivering that every day.

Please visit here for more information on our reliability work >


Paul Dandurand | Director of Reliability, Nova Scotia Power

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