Greenjacket Reduced Wildlife-Caused Outages: AltaLink Case Study Part 1


This is the first in a two-part series that investigates the impact that Greenjacket has delivered in reducing the frequency of wildlife-caused outages to AltaLink, a Berkshire Hathaway company.

AltaLink, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy company, is Alberta’s largest regulated electricity transmission company.  AltaLink manages more than 13,000 kilometers of lines and 300 substations.  AltaLink is focused on delivering reliability, dependability, fair prices and exceptional service to its customers. As part of the effort to improve reliability, AltaLink adopted the use of Greenjacket. The following report on the statistical performance of Greenjacket, outlines the improved reliability performance effectively reducing the instances of animal and bird caused power outages.

AltaLink has tracked the performance of Greenjacket at its substations since 2005 and the improved reliability performance is significant.  According to Mike Bartel, VP Asset Management at AltaLink,

“Greenjacket has improved our load interruption duration performance by 95% at AltaLink substations where we had been experiencing frequent wildlife contacts/interruptions.  It is rare to find such an investment in reliability that essentially guarantees effectiveness. This type of improvement not only improves our reliability performance, it also improves our customer satisfaction and reduces our impact on the environment.”

93.8% reduction in the average load interruption frequency in the 12 stations that historically have seen at least one contact every two years.

In the 12 stations that have seen an average of one or more wildlife contacts every two years:

  • On average, the outage rate due to wildlife contact has reduced from one outage every year to one outage every 10 years.
  • On average, the load interruption rate due to wildlife contact has reduced from one load interruption every year to one load interruption every 19 years.
  • On average, the load interruption duration due to wildlife contact has reduced from 248 minutes per station per year to 12 minutes per station per year.

In the 47 stations that have seen an average of one or more wild life contacts every ten years:

  • On average, the load interruption rate due to wildlife contact has reduced from one load interruption every two years to one load interruption every 13 years.

Darren Barnett

Darren Barnett, VP MEPP (Manufacturer’s Equipment Protection Program) / Technical Services, holds a degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Louisiana Tech University and has over 28 years of experience in the electric power distribution industry. Darren’s career started as a design engineer for a major transformer and components manufacturer. From there he advanced to positions of increasing responsibility, including Quality Assurance Manager, Engineering Manager and Vice President of Components Operations. Darren is an active member of IEEE and was on the committee that developed the 1656 -2010 testing guide for wildlife mitigation products.

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