Redundancy saved the day
Replacing burned Sunnyside transformer will take more than a year
which is typically bolted down to main tank, opened up. Once the fire started it almost looked like opening a can with a can opener type thing.”
He assured his office is working with the NL Hydro engineering department to prepare specifications for a new transformer at Sunnyside. The power grid isn’t currently affected by the loss of burned transformer.
Mr. Moore said NL Hydro’s Plan B in the event of the second transformer failing would be to disconnect one from a station in Buchans and install it at Sunnyside – a process he said would take at least a week.
It took a less than a day to make the switch between the two Sunnyside transformers.
Mr. Moore said “Right now we don’t have any redundancy, because it’s only one transformer in service. So customers are in service and have secure supply, but certainly don’t have the backup supply that they once had until we get the transformer replaced.”
The tendering process for a new transformer typically takes more than a year.
“We’ll do whatever we can do to expedite it and get that redundant supply back to the customers.”
The environmental clean up of the oil and residue from the smoke is still ongoing at Sunnyside, with international consulting company Stantec contracted to oversee the work.
Mr. Moore said the work may go into the spring when the snow melts.
“That has to be cleaned up and treated as an oil spill, although our feeling is the majority of the oil went up in smoke basically. Any soot or oil stains on the ground we’re cleaning up as per regulations and Stantec is basically engaged to make sure that happens for us in consultation with our environmental department.”
This transformer at a station in Sunnyside caught fire on Jan. 4, starting a sequence of events that knocked out power to 190,000 Newfoundland Power customers.