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Plan in place to reduce Hanover’s power outages

Published:Thursday | July 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMClaudia Gardner
Motorist await as Anthony Chin (right) speedily chops up a fallen bamboo tree which blocked the new Holland main road.

Bruce Barrett, the Jamaica Public Service Company's (JPS) reliability unit manager in Hanover says the organisation is taking steps to curtail the frequent power outages being experienced by  several communities in the parish.

Speaking at the recent monthly meeting of the Hanover Parish Council, Barrett blamed the outages on bamboo and other tall plants, which come in contact with power lines, particularly in communities within the parish's hilly interior. He said the problem would be mitigated through the installation of insulated conductors at strategic points in the affected areas.

"We are putting in conductors because since we are a parish that is plagued with bush, not having any insulated materials means that once that (line) comes into contact with bamboo or any type of bush or any plants, the system will detect it and the fuse will burn out in order to protect the line. That will result in an outage."

Re-conductoring exercise

"We are expecting to complete the re-conductoring exercise by September," said Barrett. "We will be looking at the section (of power line) at Cascade going towards Jericho. We are also looking at the lines in the sections between Cascade and Pondside."

Some of us who drive in that area, we can relate to the bamboo nuisance in that area. Just recently, we sought the help of contractors to cut that area, and within a week, we were seeing a big problem with the bamboo." added Barrett.


Installation of conductors


Barrett also explained that several areas, particularly in eastern Hanover, would be targeted for bushing and installation of the conductors.

"We will be looking at the section towards Jericho, Patty Hill and Cash Hill. We intend to go through with the insulated conductors so that even if we are not able to bush as we should be doing, we won't be so inconvenienced by outages. Once the line is protected by insulators, we will have fewer outages," noted Barrett.

Despite the plan to cover a wide area with the insulated conductors, Barrett said the conductors are very expensive. As a consequence, he explained that they would only be installed in the areas that are facing significant challenges through outages.

" These are very expensive conductors so we can't just go around and install these everywhere. We have to look at the areas that are facing the most challenges," said Barrett.