Wildfires continue to cause outages in the Hydro-Quebec grid, a phenomenon that occurs when a plume of thick smoke builds up near power lines.
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This week, 30,000 Laurentians customers were without power because their high-voltage line protection systems were triggered.
Since smoke is a conductor of electricity, its presence causes a voltage discrepancy, which leads to the temporary shutdown of the power line to protect the network and its equipment.
Wildfires this year caused massive outages affecting more than one line at a time causing four major events, including the first outage affecting 250,000 subscribers on June 1st.
It was caused by the shutdown of the power transmission from Churchill Falls.
The latest event reported by Hydro-Québec is this outage that affected 30,000 customers in the Laurentians on Tuesday due to the shutdown of electricity transmission from a regional transmission line in Abitibi.
“The grid is designed in a way that’s pretty robust because of the emissions because of the smoke, as one sees it every day,” noted Hydro-Quebec spokesman Francis Labey.
However, customers see very little impact because the network distributes the load across its other facilities. But when two transmission lines touch, at that time, it causes outage. “This is what we have noticed in recent weeks,” he added.
Hydro-Québec has not reported any equipment failures at these power transmission facilities due to wildfires, but the exceptional wildfire season disrupted the equipment maintenance schedule this year.
The prohibition of passage in the forest, the heat, the presence of fires and the risks to workers led to the postponement of many works.
“What we will do over the next few weeks is, once the situation returns to normal, we will reprioritize all of our work and our deadlines in order to be as efficient as possible and do what is most urgent as soon as possible over the next few weeks,” said Mr. Lappy.
Three generating stations in James Bay, which are difficult to reach due to the consequences of bushfires on road and air transport, are still being evacuated.
Until the safe return of the 200 people who work there, these factories are being operated remotely.
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