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NB Power restoration update

May 19 2017, 17:24 PM

NB Power restoration update

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on May 18, 2017, a powerful thunder and lightning storm bringing strong winds swept through the Acadian Peninsula. Environment Canada is saying that winds may have hit 190 kilometres per hour. Several poles on the causeway and bridge from Shippagan to Lamèque, and also in the Pokeshaw and Anse Bleu area, were affected by the high winds.

Thursday night, crews safely restored electricity to 2500 customers from a peak of approximately 7,000. Efforts were complicated by ongoing lightning. 

Replacement equipment like poles, power lines and structures were sent from Fredericton to the northern area overnight Thursday. Fifteen new poles were required. None of the infrastructure which was damaged was new since the last ice storm.

Power is restored to Lamèque & bridge is reopened to traffic. Customers remaining without power should all be restored by 3pm Saturday.

Customers are reminded to stay clear of downed lines and equipment, and to be mindful of the safety of crews that may be stopped along the roads working to restore power.

Catalysts seeing cleaner energy in 20/20

May 12 2017, 12:13 PM

Catalysts seeing cleaner energy in 20/20

This week, 20 participants from Indigenous communities across Canada are in Richibucto, NB to learn about ways to develop clean energy projects in their communities as part of the second annual 20/20 Catalysts Program.

The Program is designed to bring First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Catalysts, or leaders, together to learn from Indigenous leaders who have completed their own clean energy projects as well as energy industry experts. Catalysts will acquire skills, tools and knowledge on how to plan, finance and execute clean energy projects within their home communities.

“It’s an Indigenous clean energy capacity building program. What this program is doing is essentially helping communities move their clean energy projects forward, which can be a huge support to them socially and economically,” said Eryn Stewart, Program Manager of the 20/20 Catalysts Program.

Mentors and coaches will guide and support the Catalysts through the program, including experienced staff from NB Power.

“We have mentors from across the country who have already done projects of their own. Supporting these catalysts, these participants, in those initiatives is extremely valuable for the future of Canada going forward,” Stewart said.

The Catalysts toured the Mactaquac Generating Station and the NB Power Products and Services Lab on May 9 to see how clean energy is being utilized in New Brunswick. Week two of the program will take place in Canmore, Alberta and week three will be held in Wakefield, Quebec.

The curriculum of the Program is made up of community engagement, business and project planning and financing. Sessions will cover topics like Smart Communities, Exploring Energy Efficiency and Community Energy Planning Simulations.

There are over 165 clean energy projects with indigenous involvement operating across Canada. Program participants are part of a group that will spread the ideas fostered in New Brunswick across the country to create more clean energy projects in the coming years.

We are excited to have the Catalysts of 2017 join us in New Brunswick and wish them the best with the rest of the program.

Get to Know Atlantic Canada’s First Utility Arborist Program

May 4 2017, 10:42 AM

Get to Know Atlantic Canada’s First Utility Arborist Program

The Maritime College of Forest Technology (MCFT) launched a new utility arboriculture college program this February in Fredericton. This program is a joint venture with MCFT, NB Power’s Distribution Vegetation Management team and Arboriculture Canada Training and Education Ltd.

Graduates of this program will complete over 1000 contact hours over the two year program, graduating with a diploma in utility arboriculture in 2019 with over ten separate certificates (such as a Chainsaw Operator Certificate, Herbicide Applicator certificate and ATV Operator Certificate, to name a few.)

The primary objective of this program is to supply a highly skilled and safety-oriented workforce to an industry that is struggling to recruit and retain workers. These individuals have gone through several steps during the admissions phase to ensure they are a best fit to this career, including an online candidate assessment tool called Talent Sorter.

The “tree trimmers” of tomorrow will be more appropriately termed “utility arborists”, with NB Power and MCFT having applied for trade designation and recognition of utility arboriculture as a designated occupation within the province of New Brunswick. Program coordinators have been working closely with counterparts in Ontario and British Columbia (where utility arboriculture is already a designated occupation) to design the curriculum and move toward the goal of red seal designation.

The curriculum includes courses such as Arboriculture Sciences, NB Power Safe Work Practices and Orientation, Electrical Theory and Awareness, Communications and a full suite of technical arborist courses offered through Arboriculture Canada Training and Education Ltd-Canadian leaders in the field of arboriculture. These students will be trained on proper tree rigging techniques both on the ground and high up.

This program is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada, and has been featured in the Atlantic Forestry Review (Clearing the Lines) and MacLean’s magazine.

After tireless recruitment efforts in a relatively short period of time, 28 students (27 from New Brunswick, one from Ontario) have entered the program and will begin one of two work practicums this June with an NB Power vegetation contractor. They are currently working diligently in the classroom to prepare for their first work practicum, learning everything from vegetation management principles, electrical theory, tree species identification and biology, to pruning, felling and chipping methods.

This represents a significant advancement in the level of training and professionalism in the industry, with 28 bright and engaged individuals who are willing to invest (financially and time-wise) in educating themselves with a goal of working and living in New Brunswick.

 

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