A $3.5-million NOTL Hydro project to substantially increase the utility’s electrical capacity is almost complete.
A powerful 83 MVa (megavolt amperes) transformer, designed and built in Canada, is now in operation at Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro’s Bob Cheriton York Road transformer station.
The new transformer replaces an existing 41.7 MVa transformer that has been moved to the NOTL transformer station on Concession 5. That unit, replacing an older, much lower capacity transformer, is expected to be operational early this fall.
With an existing 50 MVa unit, the Concession 5 station now has a capacity of 91.7 MVa.
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has a peak power usage of around 60 MVa, meaning each transformer station will be able to manage the full power needs of the town, providing additional power security, the utility said in a news release.
This also positions Niagara-on-the-Lake well for future growth, hydro said.
With the town having a peak load of 60 MVa, “That was more than the transformer at our York station could handle,” NOTL Hydro CEO Tim Curtis told The Lake Report.
“If we had an outage at a peak time at our NOTL station, which has happened in the past few years, then we would be in danger of not being able to serve all of NOTL,” he added.
With the new transformer, that won’t be a concern, Curtis said.
Kazi Marouf, project manager and vice-president of operations, said, “This project was a real demonstration of the importance of planning, with an emphasis on the safety of both personnel and equipment, and co-ordinating multiple third parties.”
The project, funded entirely by the operations of Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro, “is part of our ongoing efforts to provide the residents and businesses of the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake with the best possible service at reasonable rates,” the utility said.
NOTL Hydro, which is owned by the municipality, distributes power to 10,000 customers in Niagara-on-the-Lake.