Maritime Electric has started a major upgrade to its transmission lines that will take several years and millions of dollars to complete.

It’s a five-year project that will replace one of the oldest electrical transmission lines in Prince Edward Island.

The line goes from central P.E.I. up along Highway 2 to eastern P.E.I. Officials with Maritime Electric say the upgrade was needed since the wires and poles are more than forty years old.

John Gaudet, vice-president of corporate planning with Maritime Electric, says the upgrade will make a huge difference.

"This new line will be capable of transporting four or five times the amount of electricity the old line could," he says.

In total, crews will upgrade about 80 kilometres of line and plan to complete 20 kilometres a year at a total cost of $17 million.

New poles more flexible

The company is hoping the new system will be more durable. Rods attached to the new poles are made of fibreglass, not wood, making them flexible in windy weather.

Similar poles have been used to replace old ones in other parts of the province and they have been standing up better in storms.

"The poles and the wires are bigger than what we've put in the past," Gaudet says. "Experience has shown that it pays to put in more robust poles, stronger poles and with load growth, we're putting in bigger wire."

Maritime Electric says businesses in this area will be able to access more electricity once the upgrade is complete.

The project will be completed in fall of 2017. 

Corrections

  • This story previously had a picture showing a telephone line repair person, rather than a Maritime Electric worker.
    Aug 06, 2014 11:18 AM AT