Markham’s power grid gets $12-million boost

As the demand for electricity continues to grow, Alectra Utilities will invest more than $12 million in Markham’s power grid, an investment that will impact more than 30,000 homes and businesses.

“With parts of Markham’s system reaching the end of its life cycle, renewing the deteriorating infrastructure is necessary to maintain reliability,” says Mike Matthews, Executive Vice President of Asset Strategy and Operations at Alectra.

Alectra has earmarked $9.6 million to rehabilitate underground cables using an innovative technology called ‘cable injection,’ which repairs, protects and extends the life of underground cables without digging them up. Underground cables cost less to maintain and have a much longer lifespan than overhead wires, Alectra reports, but can start to break down over time from exposure to moisture in the ground.

Cable injection can extend the life of an aging cable by up to 20 years by injecting a silicone-based fluid into the cable. The silicone forces out the moisture, fills in the weak spots and hardens to repair the cable and helps to prevent power outages, Alectra explains. For every kilometre of cable injection, it avoids about 13 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have been created by its replacement. To date, Alectra has injected more than 820 kilometres of underground cable across the 17 communities it serves, avoiding more than 10,000 tonnes of GHG emissions.

Alectra will also invest $1.5 million to renew overhead assets including pole remediation, $826,000 to replace and upgrade stations within Markham and $192,000 to construct new automated devices. “This series of infrastructure upgrades will stabilize the existing system and reduce outage impacts in the community,” says Matthews.

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