Up to 20% of all power outages are animal-caused
PROBLEM SPECIES AND THE CONSEQUENCES
There is a significant issue with wildlife caused outages around the world. In North America, it is estimated that up to 20% of all power outages are animal and bird caused. Some Cantega RTS customers have advised that up to 40% of their power outages are wildlife caused. These numbers are astonishing, considering that effective solutions exist to prevent these types of outages.
In both Canada and the United States, there is government legislation pertaining to the protection of both wildlife in general, and more specifically, to endangered species. There can be significant fines associated with prosecutions under these pieces of legislation.
Relevant legislation in the United States includes the Migratory Birds Treaty Act (MBTA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA). In Canada, most birds are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act (MBCA) the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), and various provincial wildlife acts.
HOW WILDLIFE OUTAGES OCCUR
HOW OUTAGES OCCUR
- Wildlife cause electric power outages when they touch two energized phases or one energized phase and one grounded contact point – causing a short circuit
- Up to 1 in 5 (20%) of all power outages are caused by wildlife
WILDLIFE OUTAGES ARE A DAILY OCCURRENCE BUT ARE PREVENTABLE
“Frankly, the number one threat experienced to date by the U.S. electrical grid is squirrels."
CONSEQUENCES OF AN ANIMAL-CAUSED OUTAGE
OUTAGE RISKS ARE REAL AND HAVE CONSEQUENCES
WHAT AN OUTAGE CAN COST YOUIn estimating the potential consequences of an animal-caused outage and the resulting costs, both monetary and non-monetary, the following factors should be considered:
- equipment damage costs
- the cost of employee time for making repairs
- loss of revenue, based on outage duration information
- fines or other consequences related to injury or fatality to protected species
- negative customer relations
- projected frequency of the outages
- customers who will be affected, and the nature of the effects
- critical load considerations
- legal risk of killing protected species
- possible media attention or unfavorable public reaction
- influence on utility reliability statistics, which could affect return and internal targets
Up to 20% of all power outages are animal and bird caused
Non-disaster U.S. power outages are up 124% since the early ‘90s
$18-$30 billion annual lost economy, in the US, due to wildlife caused outages
TYPICAL RISK ANIMAL SPECIES
HELP IS AVAILABLE
APLIC, the Avian Power Line Interactive Committee, works to guide utilities on the best industry practices to protect birds from electrocution on power lines. Many utilities work with APLIC to educate and mitigate wildlife-caused outages. APLIC has developed guidance documents identifying causes and suggested remediation practices for avian electrocutions and collisions, and released national Avian Protection Plan Guidelines in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2005.
Access to the APLIC guidelines, as well as other valuable information such as Engineering Standard Guidelines and ROI Tools, are all available through the Cantega RTS Portal.