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Power Protection Must Address Beaver Crisis


Power Protection Must Address Beaver Crisis

June 09, 2017

  By Steve Anderson, Contributing Writer

While it would be a bridge too far to suggest that Canada's power grid is under attack by hordes of rampaging semi-aquatic wildlife, that's actually not too far off what happened recently in Saskatchewan. Out in the Cypress Hills and Maple Creek areas, power outages struck thanks to one industrious beaver, which mistook a power pole for a useful tree and gnawed it through, sending it crashing down, taking out the area's power, and demonstrating the importance of power protection systems.

SaskPower—the primary power authority in the region—moved quickly to replace the gnawed pole, with power outages proving somewhat widespread as the Cypress Hills and Maple Creek areas are about an hour distant from each other. Power was restored in “...a timely fashion,” which suggests that the power wasn't out long and even the most minimal of power protection methods probably would have served here.

The region isn't unfamiliar to wildlife staging attacks on the power grid. One affected resident—Audrey Burton—took to Facebook (News - Alert) to note that the area has seen “...lots of trouble with mice and moles chewing the phone lines apart in the pedestals...”

In the midst of all this, we learn an important lesson about power protection: the need for such systems could occur at any time, and when these are needed, it's too late to start getting these in place. Whether it's a beaver attacking poles, a squirrel going after a transformer, or a car running off the road and going into either, power outages aren't just the stuff of thunderstorms. Power outages are the stuff of clear blue sky days as well, and all it takes is one mishap to shut down operations.

Whether it's as simple a matter as an uninterruptible power supply like the kind Minuteman is well-known for, one that just allows for a few extra moments of power to save work and shut down systems, or a complete backup generation system, power protection comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The right system, in fact, can allow a business to carry on operating for several hours or more as if nothing had ever happened. Back in March, we saw how AXA used its own generators to carry on in the midst of a power outage that took out most of the electric power in Syracuse, New York, a point that allowed it to get a substantial edge on its competition.

Prepare for a power outage now, and you'll be able to carry on as if it had never happened. That's the value inherent in power protection systems, and though you may never face a beaver attack, every little bit now will likely mean savings later.

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