Towering great heights: Nova Scotia Power announces transmission tower project

HALIFAX, NS – Safety will be top of mind in the coming weeks as specialized crews apply a protective coating to transmission towers in Halifax’s South End.

Nova Scotia Power has contracted a company called Tower Power to paint 22 transmission towers that carry 138 kilovolts of electricity. The lattice steel towers are along properties in the area of the Halifax Port Authority and are visible from such areas as the Via Rail station and Cunard Centre. They then follow along the train tracks behind some homes in the South End to the western end of South Street.

Completing this work is not expected to require any power outages. Tower painters on this project have more than 2000 hours experience working in energized zones.

“This isn’t like painting your fence or your deck. The crews that do this are highly skilled and will be able to safely coat the towers without interrupting electrical service to customers,” said Project Manager Grant Fraser.
Nova Scotia Power will keep the lights on by carrying out switching procedures to de-energize one side of the tower allowing the crews to paint that side and then switch to do the other side.

Painters expect to begin their work Tuesday and it is scheduled to take about six weeks to complete.
There will be no scaffolding involved. The painters will climb the towers, which are up to 125 feet high, with a brush and a pail filled with the grey protective coating, and clip onto the steel transmission tower with their harnesses. By the time they’re done, they will have used about 1300 litres of paint.

These transmission towers are exposed to some extreme coastal environmental conditions. The protective coating will re-galvanize the steel towers and is expected to protect them for about 20 years.

“This work will prevent corrosion damage to the structural steel components of the towers. If corrosion were to happen, it would be very costly to replace those components so doing the work now preserves the integrity of these towers for years to come,” Fraser said.

NSP will be visiting affected homes to notify residents who may see the painters working on the towers behind their homes. The project team has also worked with port-area businesses to ensure they are aware of the work.