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Nova Scotia Utility

and Review Board



IN THE MATTER OF The Public Utilities Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c.380, as
amended


Post-Tropical Storm Arthur

Review of Nova Scotia Powers
Storm Response











August 19, 2014


Post-Tropical Storm Arthur Review of NS Powers Storm Response





DATE FILED: August 19, 2014 Page 2 of 173
TABLE OF CONTENTS 1
2
1.0 INTRODUCTION AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...................................................... 15 3
2.0 OVERVIEW OF NOVA SCOTIA POWER ..................................................................... 27 4
2.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 27 5
2.2 Nova Scotia Power Basics .................................................................................... 27 6
2.3 Power Generation .................................................................................................. 27 7
2.4 Transmission and Distribution Systems ................................................................ 30 8
2.5 Control Centre ....................................................................................................... 34 9
2.6 Transmission Reliability Standards ...................................................................... 34 10
2.7 Outage Notification ............................................................................................... 35 11
3.0 PREPARING FOR POST-TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR ............................................. 36 12
3.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 36 13
3.2 Emergency Services Restoration Plan .................................................................. 36 14
3.3 Pre-Planning .......................................................................................................... 37 15
3.4 Event Predictions and Scenario Planning ............................................................. 46 16
3.5 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions........................................................... 52 17
4.0 ARTHURS ARRIVAL AND OUR RESPONSE ............................................................. 55 18
4.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 55 19
4.2 Damage Details ..................................................................................................... 55 20
4.3 Restoration Begins: Safety First ........................................................................... 57 21
4.4 Restoration Priorities ............................................................................................ 58 22
4.5 Restoration Details Overview ............................................................................... 59 23
4.6 Emergency Operations Centre .............................................................................. 62 24
5.0 RESTORING POWER: DAMAGE ASSESSMENT ........................................................ 69 25
5.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 69 26
5.2 Damage Assessment Overview ............................................................................. 69 27
5.2.1 Damage Assessment Pre-Staging and Response ...................................... 70 28
5.2.2 Damage Assessment Resource Allocation ................................................ 72 29
5.3 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions........................................................... 74 30
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6.0 RESTORING POWER: TRANSMISSION SYSTEM ...................................................... 75 1
6.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 75 2
6.2 Transmission Operations Pre-Staging for Arthur ................................................. 75 3
6.3 Transmission Operations Response to Arthur ...................................................... 77 4
6.4 Helicopter Patrols .................................................................................................. 78 5
7.0 RESTORING POWER: DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM ....................................................... 80 6
7.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 80 7
7.2 Regional Operations Organization and Field Resources ...................................... 80 8
7.3 Distribution System Damage Overview ............................................................... 82 9
7.4 Day-by-Day Detail of Restoring the Distribution System .................................... 84 10
7.4.1 Day 1: Saturday, J uly 5 ............................................................................. 84 11
7.4.2 Day 2: Sunday, J uly 6 ............................................................................... 85 12
7.4.3 Day 3: Monday, J uly 7 .............................................................................. 87 13
7.4.4 Day 4: Tuesday, J uly 8.............................................................................. 88 14
7.4.5 Day 5: Wednesday, J uly 9 ........................................................................ 88 15
7.4.6 Day 6: Thursday, J uly 10 .......................................................................... 89 16
7.4.7 Day 7: Friday, J uly 11 ............................................................................... 90 17
7.4.8 Day 8: Saturday, J uly 12 ........................................................................... 91 18
7.5 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions........................................................... 93 19
8.0 RESTORING POWER: VEGETATION MANAGEMENT ............................................ 94 20
8.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 94 21
8.2 Tree Damage to the Electricity System ................................................................ 94 22
8.2.1 Tree Crew Response to Post-Tropical Storm Arthur ................................ 96 23
8.3 Distribution System Vegetation Management in Western Nova Scotia ............... 97 24
8.3.1 Annapolis Valley ...................................................................................... 97 25
8.3.2 South Shore/South West Nova Scotia ....................................................... 98 26
8.4 Transmission System Vegetation Management in Western Nova Scotia ............. 98 27
8.5 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions........................................................... 99 28
9.0 NS POWERS INTEGRATED VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM .......... 100 29
9.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 100 30
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9.2 Integrated Vegetation Management Program Overview .................................... 100 1
9.2.1 Annual Vegetation Management Investments ........................................ 101 2
9.2.2 Evolution of the Integrated Vegetation Management Program .............. 101 3
9.2.3 Current Program Application .................................................................. 103 4
9.3 Distribution ......................................................................................................... 103 5
9.3.1 Reactive Management Approach ............................................................ 104 6
9.3.2 Preventative Management Approach ...................................................... 104 7
9.4 Transmission ....................................................................................................... 109 8
9.5 Storm Hardening (Widening Rights-of-way) ..................................................... 110 9
9.5.1 Distribution ............................................................................................. 110 10
9.5.2 Transmission ........................................................................................... 111 11
9.6 Challenges ........................................................................................................... 112 12
9.6.1 Acceptance of Tree Trimming Clearance Standard ................................ 112 13
9.6.2 Off Right-of-Way Tree Removal/Widening ........................................... 113 14
9.6.3 Rural Roadside Vegetation Management by TIR ................................... 114 15
9.6.4 Woodland Harvesting Adjacent to Power Lines ..................................... 114 16
9.6.5 69 kV Transmission and Cross Country Distribution Easements ........... 114 17
9.6.6 Response to Tree-On-Line Calls During a Storm ................................... 115 18
9.7 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions......................................................... 115 19
10.0 COMMUNICATING WITH OUR CUSTOMERS ......................................................... 117 20
10.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 117 21
10.2 Customer Communications Planning and Staffing for Arthur ........................... 117 22
10.3 Record High Customer Interactions.................................................................... 118 23
10.4 Critical Care Customers ...................................................................................... 120 24
10.4.1 Learnings, Recommendations and Action: ............................................. 121 25
10.5 Customer Communications Issues ...................................................................... 121 26
10.5.1 Communications Issue #1 Estimated Times to Restore (ETRs) .......... 122 27
10.5.2 Communications Issue #2 Outage Map Capacity ................................ 124 28
10.5.3 Communications Issue #3 High Volume Call Answering (HVCA) 29
System Disconnections and Message Scripting ...................................... 128 30
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10.5.4 Data Centre Outage ................................................................................. 131 1
11.0 OUTAGE COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW .................................. 134 2
11.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 134 3
11.2 Early days of HVCA and OMS .......................................................................... 134 4
11.3 Current HVCA System ....................................................................................... 134 5
11.4 Outage Communication Technology .................................................................. 137 6
11.5 Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) ........................................ 137 7
11.6 Customer Information System (CIS) .................................................................. 137 8
11.7 Geographic Information System (GIS) ............................................................... 138 9
11.8 Work Management System (WMS) .................................................................... 138 10
11.9 High Volume Call Answer (HVCA)................................................................... 138 11
11.10 Interactive Voice Response Message Centre (IMC) ........................................... 139 12
11.11 nspower.ca .......................................................................................................... 139 13
11.12 General Outage Information Flow and the Outage Management System .......... 140 14
12.0 RELIABILITY PERFORMANCE METRICS ................................................................ 142 15
12.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 142 16
12.2 Reliability Investment Strategy & Results .......................................................... 142 17
13.0 EXTERNAL BENCHMARKS ........................................................................................ 149 18
13.1 Overview of the NS Power Benchmarking Analysis .......................................... 149 19
13.2 Benchmarking Results ........................................................................................ 151 20
14.0 FINANCIAL IMPACTS OF POST-TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR............................ 155 21
14.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 155 22
14.2 Overview ............................................................................................................. 155 23
14.3 Future Impacts and Affordability........................................................................ 156 24
14.4 Supplementing NS Power PLTs with Contractors.............................................. 156 25
14.5 Cost of Post-Tropical Storm Arthur .................................................................... 157 26
14.5.1 Arthur Compared to Other Major Storms ............................................... 158 27
15.0 COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS .......................................................... 159 28
15.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 159 29
15.2 Communicating with One Voice ........................................................................ 159 30
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15.3 Public Communications in Advance of Arthur ................................................... 160 1
15.4 Public Communications during Arthur Response............................................... 160 2
15.5 Social Media Messaging ..................................................................................... 162 3
15.6 Public Communications Statistics....................................................................... 164 4
15.7 Government Officials and UARB ....................................................................... 164 5
15.8 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions......................................................... 164 6
16.0 COORDINATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES ............................................................ 166 7
16.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 166 8
16.2 General Coordination Procedures ....................................................................... 166 9
16.3 Coordination During Post-Tropical Storm Arthur .............................................. 167 10
16.4 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions......................................................... 168 11
17.0 LEARNINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTIONS ............................................ 169 12
17.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 169 13
17.2 Preparation for Storm .......................................................................................... 169 14
17.3 Restoring Power .................................................................................................. 170 15
17.4 Vegetation Management ..................................................................................... 171 16
17.5 Customer Communications ................................................................................. 171 17
17.6 Coordination With Other Agencies .................................................................... 172 18
19
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LIST OF FIGURES 1
2
Figure 1: Restoration Work on Damaged Equipment ................................................................... 15 3
Figure 2: Key Restoration Statistics: Nova Scotia and New Brunswick ...................................... 16 4
Figure 3: Summary of Variances of Wind Gusts J uly 5, 2014 ..................................................... 18 5
Figure 4: Day-by-Day Synopsis of Electricity Restoration Progress ........................................... 19 6
Figure 5: Customer Call Comparison: Post-Tropical Storm Arthur and Hurricane J uan ............. 21 7
Figure 6: Daily Call Volumes ....................................................................................................... 23 8
Figure 7: Annual Vegetation Management Investments .............................................................. 24 9
Figure 8: Restoration Duration Comparison ................................................................................. 26 10
Figure 9: Hydro and Tidal Facilities ............................................................................................. 29 11
Figure 10: Commercial Wind Farms NS Power and Independent ............................................ 30 12
Figure 11: Transmission Lines...................................................................................................... 32 13
Figure 12: From Generator to Customer ....................................................................................... 33 14
Figure 13: Environment Canada Storm Track (8:30 AM J uly 1) ................................................. 38 15
Figure 14: Environment Canada Storm Track (6:00 AM J uly 2) ................................................. 39 16
Figure 15: Environment Canada Storm Track (3:00 PM J uly 2) .................................................. 41 17
Figure 16: Comparison of Nova Scotia Power Storm Events ....................................................... 48 18
Figure 17: Forecasted Wind Gusts as of 5:00 AM J uly 4, 2014 ................................................... 49 19
Figure 18: Forecasted Wind Gusts as of 3:00 PM J uly 4, 2014 ................................................... 50 20
Figure 19: Summary of Variances of Wind Gusts J uly 5, 2014 ................................................... 53 21
Figure 20: Modeling Data to be Included in Future Events.......................................................... 54 22
Figure 21: Typical Arthur Storm Damage .................................................................................... 56 23
Figure 22: Customer Outage Profile ............................................................................................. 56 24
Figure 23: Individual Service Damage ......................................................................................... 59 25
Figure 24: Outage Event Profile ................................................................................................... 60 26
Figure 25: Materials Utilized During Post-Tropical Storm Arthur Restoration ........................... 61 27
Figure 26: Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Nova Scotia Power Control Centre ............ 62 28
Figure 27: Picture from Damage Assessment Team ..................................................................... 69 29
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Figure 28: Picture from Damage Assessment Team ..................................................................... 72 1
Figure 29: Post-Tropical Storm Arthur Damage Assessment Resources ..................................... 73 2
Figure 30: Damaged Transformer ................................................................................................. 74 3
Figure 31: Transmission Operations Organization Chart ............................................................. 76 4
Figure 32: Transmission Line Outages & Repairs ........................................................................ 78 5
Figure 33: Regional Operations Storm Organizational Chart, Post-Tropical Storm Arthur ........ 81 6
Figure 34: Daily Field Resource Utilization ................................................................................. 82 7
Figure 35: Typical Damage Site ................................................................................................... 83 8
Figure 36: Damage Assessment - Day 2 ....................................................................................... 86 9
Figure 37: Extensive Damage ....................................................................................................... 87 10
Figure 38: Damage Assessment - Day 5 ....................................................................................... 89 11
Figure 39: Damage Assessment - Day 6 ....................................................................................... 90 12
Figure 40: Damage Assessment - Day 7 ....................................................................................... 90 13
Figure 41: End-of-Day Customer Interruptions ............................................................................ 91 14
Figure 42: Outage Events Restored per Day................................................................................. 92 15
Figure 43: Damage Assessment - Day 8 ....................................................................................... 92 16
Figure 44: Broken Healthy Tree Limbs ........................................................................................ 95 17
Figure 45: Total Outage Cause (CEA) by Percentage Post-Tropical Storm Arthur .................. 95 18
Figure 46: Total Spend for Vegetation Management (2004 2013) .......................................... 101 19
Figure 47: Total Number of Spans Completed by Program Type .............................................. 103 20
Figure 48: Asset Renewal ........................................................................................................... 105 21
Figure 49: Asset Protection ......................................................................................................... 106 22
Figure 50: Urban Management ................................................................................................... 107 23
Figure 51: Sustainability ............................................................................................................. 108 24
Figure 52: Hazard Trees .............................................................................................................. 109 25
Figure 53: Distribution Right-of-Way Widening ....................................................................... 111 26
Figure 54: Transmission Right-of-Way Widening ..................................................................... 112 27
Figure 55: Customer Service Representative Staffing Levels J uly 5-12 2014 ........................... 118 28
Figure 56: Daily Call Volumes ................................................................................................... 119 29
Figure 57: HVCA Hourly Call Volumes .................................................................................... 120 30
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Figure 58: Daily Web Traffic ..................................................................................................... 125 1
Figure 59: Outage Map Page Views 2014 ............................................................................... 126 2
Figure 60: Call Volume & Outage Web Traffic J uly 5, 2014 ................................................. 127 3
Figure 61: Incidents where HVCA asked Customers to Call Back Later, then Disconnected ... 129 4
Figure 62: Customer Care Centre Hourly Call Handling Statistics J uly 5, 2014 .................... 132 5
Figure 63: Customers and Stakeholders Diagram ...................................................................... 140 6
Figure 64: Reliability Performance Metrics 2011-2013 ............................................................. 142 7
Figure 65: Historical Outage Frequency 2011-2013 .................................................................. 143 8
Figure 66: Historical Outage Duration 2011-2013 ..................................................................... 143 9
Figure 67: NS Power Annual SAIFI 2010-2013......................................................................... 144 10
Figure 68: NS Power Annual SAIDI 2010-2013 ........................................................................ 145 11
Figure 69: Annual Unplanned Loss of Supply Outage Events 2007-2013 ................................. 146 12
Figure 70: Annual Unplanned Loss of Supply Customer Interruptions 2007-2013 ................... 146 13
Figure 71: Annual Deteriorated Equipment Customer Interruptions 2007-2013 ....................... 147 14
Figure 72: Annual Deteriorated Equipment Customer Hours of Interruption 2007-2013 .......... 147 15
Figure 73: Annual Tree Contact Customer Interruptions 2007-2013 ......................................... 148 16
Figure 74: Annual Tree Contact Customer Hours of Interruption 2007-2013 ........................... 148 17
Figure 75: Storm Events Included in NS Power Benchmarking Analysis ................................. 150 18
Figure 76: NS Power Storm Response Benchmarking Statistics................................................ 151 19
Figure 77: Restoration Duration Comparison ............................................................................. 152 20
Figure 78: Poles Replaced per Thousand Customers Out at Peak .............................................. 154 21
Figure 79: Initial Cost Estimate for Post-Tropical Storm Arthur ($M) ...................................... 157 22
Figure 80: Cost Comparison ($M) .............................................................................................. 158 23
Figure 81: Day by Day Statistics ................................................................................................ 164 24
25
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LIST OF APPENDICES 1
2
Appendix 3.01 Emergency Services Restoration Plan 3
Appendix 3.02 Statement from Canadian Hurricane Center (CHC) 2:34 AM, J uly 2, 2014 4
Appendix 3.03 Email notification of CHC statement 10:24 AM, J uly 2, 2014 5
Appendix 3.04 Nova Scotia EMO Tropical Storm Arthur Update #1 6
Appendix 3.05 Scotia Weather forecast 3:00 PM, J uly 2, 2014 7
Appendix 3.06 Email notification of CHC statement, 3:30 PM, J uly 2, 2014 8
Appendix 3.07 Email notification of EMO NS meeting 4:50 PM, J uly 2, 2014 9
Appendix 3.08 Scotia Weather forecast 9:00 PM, J uly 2, 2014 10
Appendix 3.09 Scotia Weather forecast 5:00 AM, J uly 3, 2014 11
Appendix 3.10 Scotia Weather forecast 11:00 AM, J uly 3, 2014 12
Appendix 3.11 Nova Scotia EMO Hurricane Arthur Update #2 13
Appendix 3.12 Scotia Weather forecast 3:00 PM, J uly 3, 2014 14
Appendix 3.13 Email Notification of CHC statement 4:28 PM, J uly 3, 2014 15
Appendix 3.14 Scotia Weather forecast 9:00 PM, J uly 3, 2014 16
Appendix 3.15 Scotia Weather forecast 5:00 AM, J uly 4, 2014 17
Appendix 3.16 Scotia Weather forecast 11:00 AM, J uly 4, 2014 18
Appendix 3.17 Email notification of EOC opening 11:23 AM, J uly 4, 2014 19
Appendix 3.18 Nova Scotia EMO Hurricane Arthur Update #3 20
Appendix 3.19 Scotia Weather forecast 3:00 PM, J uly 4, 2014 21
Appendix 3.20 Scotia Weather forecast 9:00 PM, J uly 4, 2014 22
Appendix 3.21 Scotia Weather forecast 5:00 AM, J uly 5, 2014 23
Appendix 3.22 Scotia Weather forecast 11:00 AM, J uly 5, 2014 24
Appendix 3.23 Nova Scotia EMO Post-Tropical Storm Arthur Update #4 25
Appendix 3.24 Scotia Weather forecast 3:00 PM, J uly 5, 2014 26
Appendix 3.25 Previous Summer Storm Tracks 27
Appendix 3.26 Model Input Scenarios - Wind Speed and Weather Type 28
Appendix 3.27 Model Input Scenarios - Duration 29
Appendix 3.28 Model Input Scenarios - Resource Levels 30
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Appendix 3.29 Predicted Restoration Curve 1
Appendix 3.30 Hurricane Earl Actual Restoration Curve 2
Appendix 3.31 Scotia Weather Service Report 3
Appendix 4.01 EOC Roster 4
Appendix 4.02 EOC Activation-Deactivation 5
Appendix 4.03 ETR Strategies 6
Appendix 4.04 EOC Decision Log 7
Appendix 5.01 Damage Assessment Summary 8
Appendix 6.01 Detailed Transmission Events Log 9
Appendix 9.01 Vegetation Management and SAIDI and SAIFI 10
Appendix 9.02 Reliability Improvement graph 11
Appendix 10.01 Media Release J uly 9, 2014 12
Appendix 13.01 Davies Consulting Experience 13
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GLOSSARY OF TERMS 1
2
Term Definition
911 Calls Emergency calls into the Distribution Control Center at Ragged
Lake.
CAIDI Customer Average Interruption Duration Index
CHC Canadian Hurricane Center
CIS Customer Information System
CSR Customer Service Representative (NS Power)
DCC Distribution Control Centre
Distribution System Medium voltage power lines (greater than 600 volts and less than 69
kilovolts) between substations and transformers that serve
customers.
ECC Energy Control Centre
EMO Emergency Management Office
EOC Emergency Operations Centre (NS Power)
ESRP Emergency Services Restoration Plan
ETR Estimated Time to Restore
Event A power interruption to one or more customers with a duration of
more than one minute.
GIS Geographical Information System
High Potential Incident A safety incident in which under slightly different circumstances
could have resulted in loss to people, property or process.
HRM Halifax Regional Municipality
HVCA High Volume Call Answering
IMC Interactive Voice Response Message Centre
IVM Integrated Vegetation Management
IVR Interactive Voice Response
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Term Definition
Lxxxx Numbering system for individual transmission lines. The L refers
to line, the first number is the voltage class of the line (5 - 69kV, 6
- 138kV, 7 - 230kV, 8 - 345kV), and the remaining three numbers
refer to the substation device (breaker, switch, etc.) that feeds the
transmission line.
NSUARB Nova Scotia Utility & Review Board
One Of An individual customer event.
OMS Outage Management System
PDU Power Distribution Unit
PLT Power Line Technician
Polite Disconnect This can occur after a customer successfully completes a transaction
on the High Volume Call Answering (HVCA) system and waits on
the phone line to speak with a Customer Service Representative
(CSR). After the HVCA system tries three times to put the customer
through to a CSR, if there is still no phone trunk available, the
system will ask the customer to phone back later and then it will
disconnect the call.
Pro-Active At Risk
Reports
A substandard act or condition that is identified before they cause or
contribute to an incident.
PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network
RAL Ragged Lake work location
Right of Way The corridor of land under a power line needed to operate the line.
The width of the corridor is established by engineering or
construction standards.
RMC Resource Management Centre (NS Power)
ROPS Regional Operations Supervisors
SAIDI System Average Interruption Duration Index
SAIFI System Average Interruption Frequency Index
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Term Definition
SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
Scenario Planning Team A team at the Ragged Lake Control Center responsible for
conducting the storm prediction analysis.
Span The length of conductor from one structure to another.
Standard Protection Code A Nova Scotia Power document establishing a systematic and
coordinated approach to work planning to enhance personal safety
and the protection of system equipment against damage.
Storekeepers Employees who manage materials in inventory.
Substation A set of electrical equipment that reduces the high voltage
transmission lines to the medium voltage distribution lines.
SWSI Scotia Weather Services Inc.
TFCC Twenty First Century Communications
TIR Nova Scotia Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal
Transmission System High voltage power lines (69 kilovolts to 345 kilovolts) between
generating stations and substations. Also used to directly serve
power to some large industrial customers.
WMS Work Management System
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1.0 INTRODUCTION AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1
2
Figure 1: Restoration Work on Damaged Equipment 3
4
5
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur 6
7
Arthur was the most severe storm to strike Nova Scotia since Hurricane J uan in 2003. It 8
caused significant damage throughout Nova Scotia, with the worst damage along the 9
storms track from Southwestern Nova Scotia through the Annapolis Valley. Arthurs 10
impact on Nova Scotia began early in the morning of J uly 5, 2014, with wind gusts 11
exceeding 90 km/h in Yarmouth by 5:30 AM and landfall happening shortly before 11:00 12
AM. Lunenburg saw sustained wind speeds above 60 km/h from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, 13
with gusts ranging from 80 to 107 km/h over these hours. The highest wind gusts 14
recorded during the storm were 139 km/h, recorded at 6:00 PM, J uly 5, at CFB 15
Greenwood. Wind speeds finally started to abate at approximately 11:00 PM that same 16
night. 17
18
As an early summer storm, Arthur hit Nova Scotia as trees were full of leaves and the 19
ground was still relatively moist. This meant the trees had lots of sail to capture the 20
wind, and were easier to uproot. In later hurricane season storms, the ground is often 21
drier, so trees are more firmly rooted, and leaves are more prone to blowing off in high 22
winds. Falling trees and branches caused the vast majority of power outages related to 23
Arthur. 24
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Post-Tropical Storm Arthur struck Nova Scotia with far more severity than weather 1
forecasting had predicted. Actual peak wind gusts in the Annapolis Valley, where the 2
worst tree damage occurred, were up to 74 percent higher than had been forecast. In 3
Arthurs wake, 245,000 Nova Scotia Power customers lost their electrical service, with a 4
peak of 137,000 in the early afternoon of J uly 5. By the end of Wednesday, J uly 9, (Day 5
5) we had restored power to 95 percent of our customers (from the 137,000 peak), and the 6
last customer who wasnt awaiting an electrical contractor for repair of their own 7
equipment was brought back online on Saturday, J uly 12 (Day 8). 8
9
By comparison, New Brunswick Power reported approximately 200,000 customer 10
outages in total, with a peak of 140,000. NB Power had restored 95 percent of affected 11
customers by end of day J uly 13 (Day 9), and New Brunswicks Emergency Measures 12
Organization reported on J uly 22 (Day 18) that the final Arthur-related outages had been 13
restored. The extent of the damage to the electricity systems in Nova Scotia and New 14
Brunswick meant that neither utility could offer to send crews to assist in the others 15
restoration efforts until after their own work was done. Arthur also interrupted 16
telecommunications services to many Nova Scotians and New Brunswickers, with Bell 17
Aliant, EastLink and Rogers Communications all reporting service interruptions. 18
19
Figure 2: Key Restoration Statistics: Nova Scotia and New Brunswick 20
Nova Scotia Power New Brunswick Power
Total customer outages 245,000 200,000
Peak outages 137,000 140,000
95% of customers restored J uly 9 (Day 5) J uly 13 (Day 9)
Last customer restored J uly 12 (Day 8) J uly 22 (Day 18)
21
All that being said, Nova Scotia Power acknowledges the considerable impact to our 22
customers who waited days for their power to be restored. As will be seen throughout the 23
remainder of the Report, Nova Scotia Power acknowledges that there are areas for 24
improvement and valuable lessons learned from our experience with Arthur. We have 25
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already started work to resolve some of these issues and wish to work with stakeholders 1
to further refine our Emergency Service Restoration Plan. 2
3
Finally, Nova Scotia Power would be doing a large disservice to its employees if we did 4
not acknowledge their tremendous efforts and dedication to serving our customers under 5
very challenging circumstances. Working 24/7 and with a clear focus on safety, our team 6
of power line technicians, damage assessors, engineers, foresters, work planners, 7
electricians, technicians, customer service representatives, supervisors, and others 8
successfully restored service to their fellow Nova Scotians on a timeline consistent with 9
the performance of other utilities across North America. 10
11
Summary of Nova Scotia Powers Response to the Review Notice of Hearing 12
13
On J uly 16, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB, NSUARB, the Board) 14
issued a Notice of Hearing directing Nova Scotia Power to file a report with the Board by 15
August 19 outlining the following four topics: 16
17
1. The cause of the power outages, what failed, an outline of the restoration efforts, 18
and an explanation as to why it took the time it did to re-establish service. 19
20
These matters are discussed in detail in Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, along with the 21
associated appendices. 22
23
Winds in Annapolis Valley were up to 74 percent higher than forecast. Through many of 24
the towns and communities in the Annapolis Valley, our vegetation management around 25
roadside power lines is limited to light trimming, as some of our rights of way are 26
narrower than industry standard and because adjacent property owners and municipal 27
governments dont support the removal of trees that are considered ornamental. Higher 28
than forecast winds, gusting well over 100 km/h in a region with an abundance of 29
roadside trees in full early summer leaf, meant the impacts on our electricity system were 30
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far worse than our modeling had predicted. There were more trees on lines, more lines 1
down, more equipment damaged, and more customers off. There was so much damage 2
that it took several days to fully assess the impacts on distribution feeders. 3
4
Figure 3 shows the wind gusts predicted in the 3:00 PM J uly 4 forecast, versus those 5
Nova Scotia Power used for scenario planning, as well as those actually recorded on 6
Saturday, J uly 5. 7
8
Figure 3: Summary of Variances of Wind Gusts July 5, 2014 9
10
11
It is important to note that the damage prediction model developed under our Emergency 12
Services Restoration Plan didnt fail. This model, developed out of the recommendations 13
of the Hurricane J uan report, is constantly updated with the real-life data of system 14
damage caused by storms in Nova Scotia. It has worked very well for the past decade. 15
Following Arthur, we input the actual wind speeds and track of Arthur into the damage 16
prediction model, and it accurately predicted the damage Arthur caused, and the number 17
of crew-hours it took to restore all customers. Unfortunately, the forecast available for 18
Arthur planning purposes significantly underestimated the impact. 19
100
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70
120
100
120
100
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100 100 100
113
139
94
80
87
93
96
83
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40
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80
100
120
140
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Post-Tropical Storm Arthur
Wind Gusts July 5, 2014
Forecast - 3PM J uly 4th Planning - Med Case Actual
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The table below provides a day-by-day synopsis of the progress in restoring electricity 1
for our customers and the resources brought to bear. 2
3
Figure 4: Day-by-Day Synopsis of Electricity Restoration Progress 4
Remaining
Outage
Events at
End of
Day*
Daily
Outage
Events
Restored
Customers
without
electricity at
end of day
Net
reduction in
customers
without
power **
Percentage
of customers
restored
(vs peak of
137,000)
# of PLTs
Total
PLT
hours
# of
CSRs
Total
CSR
hours
HVCA
Calls
Outage
Calls
Answered
by CSR
Saturday J uly 5 1,166 280 90,104 46,441 34% 251 4,104 115 1380 216,669 11,014
Sunday J uly 6 1,579 521 51,349 38,775 63% 253 4,186 111 1332 118,994 10,604
Monday J uly 7 1,598 557 27,808 23,541 80% 271 4,331 113 1356 50,134 5,447
Tuesday J uly 8 1,269 666 15,418 12,390 89% 261 4,184 128 1536 20,365 3,909
Wednesday J uly 9 1,016 580 6,278 9,140 95% 258 4,227 121 1452 11,255 3,811
Thursday J uly 10 599 630 2,693 3,585 98% 250 4,269 113 1356 4,047 2,050
Friday J uly 11 234 512 878 1,815 99% 247 3,969 103 824 2,603 1,304
Saturday J uly 12 0 329 339 539 100% 224 3,401 19 228 1,068 563
* NOTE: The number of outage events increased in the initial days of the storm response, because when larger feeder 5
events were restored, smaller, branch line events were revealed. 6
** NOTE: Net reduction in customers without power indicates the day-by-day reduction from the peak outage number 7
(137,000). We did not track day-by-day changes from the total outage figure (245,000), as that data cannot be 8
extracted with precision due to the fact that new outage events were occurring as we continued to restore customers. 9
10
Among Nova Scotia Powers Learnings, Recommendations and Actions stemming 11
from Arthur, for future storms we will pre-stage more damage assessors to get an earlier 12
comprehensive look at system impacts which will help improve the accuracy of the 13
Estimated Times of Restoration (ETRs) we provide to our customers. As well, we are 14
updating our planning model to consider transmission system damage, which generally 15
doesnt occur in wind storms, due to the size and integrity of the associated structures, 16
redundancy of the lines, and typically wider rights of way, but did with Arthur. In 17
addition, Scotia Weather Services has conducted a detailed review to determine the cause 18
of the significant inaccuracies in its forecast, particularly with regard to the wind speeds 19
experienced across Nova Scotia. Please refer to Appendix 3.31. 20
21
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Nova Scotia Power also notes the importance of coordination with other public service 1
entities throughout the province, such as the Department of Transportation and 2
Infrastructure Renewal and emergency management organizations. Although the 3
relationships with these entities are positive and our efforts are generally coordinated, our 4
experience with Arthur emphasized the importance of the Nova Scotia Emergency 5
Management Office activating its J oint Emergency Operations Centre in order to better 6
coordinate the efforts of all entities involved in post-storm recovery efforts. 7
8
2. Details with respect to the communication system failures that appear to have taken 9
place during the course of the storm, particularly in light of the significant 10
investigations and expenditures which were made on NS Power's system following a 11
similar failure during Hurricane Juan and the storm of November 13 and 14, 2004. 12
NS Power should outline any action it is taking, or proposes to take, to correct the 13
problems. 14
15
Our communications with customers and the problems we encountered are detailed in 16
Section 10. Further detail on our outage communication technology is provided in 17
Section 11. 18
19
In the wake of Arthur, we received more calls from our customers than ever before. 20
During peak hours over 300 calls per minute were being taken by our High Volume Call 21
Answering (HVCA) system. Over the eight days of the storm restoration, Nova Scotia 22
Power received 425,123 calls, as compared to the 418,664 calls we received over the 14- 23
day restoration following Hurricane J uan in 2003. More than half of the Arthur calls 24
came on the day of the storm itself 216,669, as compared to the 122,575 calls received 25
on Day 1 of J uan. During the Arthur restoration, our Customer Service Representatives 26
had 38,702 one-on-one conversations with customers, compared to 48,328 following 27
Hurricane J uan. 28
29
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Figure 5: Customer Call Comparison: Post-Tropical Storm Arthur and Hurricane 1
Juan 2
Arthur Hurricane Juan
Total Calls 425,123 over eight days 418,664 over 14 days
Calls on Day 1 216,669 122,575
3
Three key communications issues contributed to customer dissatisfaction: 4
5
Communications Issue #1 Estimated Times to Restore (ETRs) 6
7
Our ETR strategy was developed through the recommendations of the Hurricane J uan 8
review. We target our early ETR communication on outages impacting 100 or more 9
customers, because most customers who lose power in a storm lose it because of a 10
transmission or distribution feeder line outage. This strategy has worked successfully in 11
past storms, but with Arthur we had more than 3,400 outages impacting fewer than 100 12
customers each approximately 30,000 customers in total. Customers who were among 13
smaller pockets of outages grew frustrated, because the ETR strategy wasnt providing 14
information accurate to their situation. Additionally, ETRs were updated multiple times. 15
16
ETR strategies have been evolving among North American electric utilities. We 17
recommend as an outcome of this review that Nova Scotia Power work with the UARBs 18
consultant to further examine current best practices, and bring forward any changes to our 19
ETR strategy that would be in the best interest of customers. 20
21
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Communications Issue #2 Outage Map Capacity 1
2
Nova Scotia Powers online outage map is an important part of the way we provide 3
outage and restoration information to our customers. Its a fast, efficient, and up-to-date 4
source of information. However, on Saturday, J uly 5, the outage page server was 5
overwhelmed by the high volumes of information requests after reaching its peak 6
processing of approximately 50,000 successful pages per hour. Based on this experience, 7
Nova Scotia Power is in the process of increasing the capacity of our website to handle a 8
greater number of outage requests per hour, with a speed of delivery of five seconds or 9
less. 10
11
Communications Issue #3 High Volume Call Answering (HVCA) system 12
13
Our HVCA system, implemented following the recommendations of the November 2004 14
Ice Storm review, enables large numbers of customers to interact with Nova Scotia Power 15
simultaneously. In cases where the number of customers wishing to speak with a 16
Customer Service Representative exceeds the designed threshold, the HVCA system is 17
designed to inform the customer of the high call volumes, ask the customer to call back 18
later, and then it disconnects the call. Due to the exceptional number of calls following 19
Arthur, more than 24,000 calls were disconnected by the HVCA system on J uly 5. Some 20
customers could have been disconnected a number of times. 21
22
Figure 6 details the call volumes for each day and compares Arthurs totals to Hurricane 23
J uan and the November 2004 ice storm. 24
25
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Figure 6: Daily Call Volumes 1
2
3
In addition, an issue with our telecommunications supplier resulted in a reduced number 4
of available phone lines to our Customer Care Centre from Monday, J uly 7, until 1:00 5
AM Wednesday, J uly 9. 6
7
3. An outline of NS Power's current practices with respect to vegetation management, 8
including, specifically, in the affected areas, and whether those practices need to 9
change as a consequence of the failures during post-tropical storm Arthur. 10
11
The role played by Nova Scotia Powers Vegetation Management team in responding to 12
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur, as well as vegetation management practices through 13
Southwestern Nova Scotia and the Annapolis Valley are discussed in Section 8. Nova 14
Scotias overall Integrated Vegetation Management program is detailed in Section 9. 15
16
More than 90 percent of the power outages caused by Post-Tropical Storm Arthur were 17
due to trees contacting lines and other system equipment. The tree damage was 18
particularly severe in Western Nova Scotia, where customer outages lasted the longest. 19
In many towns and communities through the Annapolis Valley, roadside ornamental trees 20
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located on private property are in close proximity to power lines, and the amount of tree 1
trimming Nova Scotia Power can do is limited. The public has a competing desire for the 2
preservation of ornamental roadside trees and electrical service reliability, and there is no 3
clear consensus on the appropriate balance. 4
5
Nova Scotia Powers annual vegetation management spending has ranged from just over 6
$12 million to almost $16 million over the past five years overall, a significant increase 7
from the previous five years, as shown in the graph below. 8
9
Figure 7: Annual Vegetation Management Investments 10
11
12
To improve reliability in major storms it is essential to establish clear rights-of-way along 13
power lines. As elaborated on in Sections 8 and 9, Nova Scotia Power requires greater 14
public support to obtain the desired clearances in accordance with industry standards. 15
We also urge the appropriate government authorities to prohibit the planting of trees that 16
are in conflict with power lines, and request prescriptive rights to remove off right-of- 17
way hazard trees that threaten power lines. 18
-
2.00
4.00
6.00
8.00
10.00
12.00
14.00
16.00
18.00
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
I
n
v
e
s
t
m
e
n
t

(
$
M
)
Annual Vegetation Management Investments
Storm Response
Regional
Capital
ROW Widening
Veg Mgmt
Transmission
Veg Mgmt
Distribution
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4. Any external benchmarks or metrics by which NS Power's performance may be 1
judged. 2
3
Service reliability performance metrics are detailed in Section 12 and external 4
benchmarking by Davies Consulting is detailed in Section 13. Highlights are provided 5
below. 6
7
As set out in Section 12 of this Report, Nova Scotia Powers multi-year Reliability 8
Investment Strategy has significantly improved service reliability for our customers in 9
recent years, with Nova Scotia Power outperforming the average of other Atlantic 10
Canadian utilities on System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) and System 11
Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI). 12
13
As part of the review process, Nova Scotia Power engaged Davies Consulting, a leading 14
consultancy to electric and gas utilities within North America, to provide external 15
benchmarking. They found our performance in Arthur within the industry norm when 16
compared to other utilities responding to similar storms. 17
18
Figure 8 shows the performance of Nova Scotia Power during the response to Arthur, 19
relative to the comparators, in terms of length of restoration related to customers out at 20
peak. When compared to other similar events, Nova Scotia Powers overall performance 21
during Post-Tropical Storm Arthur was within the industry norm. 22
23
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Figure 8: Restoration Duration Comparison 1
2
Source: Davies Consulting Storm Benchmark Database, 2014 3
4
In Conclusion 5
6
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur was disruptive to the lives and businesses of our customers. 7
It was a long, difficult eight days for our employees as well, and the work didnt end on 8
J uly 12 when we finished restoration. J ust as we learned and improved from Hurricane 9
J uan and the wind, snow and ice storms over the 11 years since J uan we are confident 10
that the lessons we have learned from Arthur, and the insights that will be brought 11
forward through this review process, will help us better serve our customers during the 12
next major storm. 13
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2.0 OVERVIEW OF NOVA SCOTIA POWER 1
2
2.1 Introduction 3
4
This section provides a high level look at how we make and deliver electricity for Nova 5
Scotians. 6
7
2.2 Nova Scotia Power Basics 8
9
Nova Scotia Power provides 95 per cent of the generation, transmission and distribution 10
of electricity in Nova Scotia, serving 500,000 customers across the province from 11
remote cottages to urban office towers. The electricity we make and deliver powers 12
family homes, small businesses, schools, hospitals, industrial facilities, military bases, 13
and countless other end uses that Nova Scotians rely upon in their daily lives. 14
15
We have approximately 1,700 employees. They are dedicated to serving our customers 16
and are focused on safety. Together, we manage $4.1 billion worth of assets, and 17
produce more than 10,000 gigawatt hours of electricity each year. Our facilities can 18
generate as much as 2,453 megawatts of electricity, which is delivered across 19
approximately 32,000 kilometres of transmission and distribution lines throughout Nova 20
Scotia. Thats enough wire to stretch from Halifax to Vancouver seven times, or 80 21
percent of the way around the circumference of the planet. 22
23
2.3 Power Generation 24
25
We generate electricity using a portfolio of energy sources coal, natural gas, wind, 26
biomass, hydro, tidal, and oil selecting the generation options that are most affordable 27
to our customers, while meeting all environmental and other legislated requirements, 28
including some of North Americas most aggressive targets on renewable energy (40 29
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percent of generation by 2020) and greenhouse gas emissions (25 percent reduction by 1
2020 from 2010 levels). 2
3
Our generation facilities include: 4
5
Four thermal coal plants in Cape Breton (Lingan, Point Aconi, and Point Tupper) 6
and Trenton, Pictou County. 7
8
Three thermal natural gas units at the Tufts Cove plant in Dartmouth. These units 9
can also use oil. 10
11
Two natural gas combustion turbines and a waste heat recovery unit at the Tufts 12
Cove plant in Dartmouth. 13
14
33 hydroelectric plants on 17 river systems across Nova Scotia. Some date back 15
to the early 1900s. Please refer to Figure 9. 16
17
A tidal energy station at Annapolis Royal, the only plant of its type in North 18
America. 19
20
A biomass plant in Port Hawkesbury. 21
22
Wind farms at Nuttby Mountain (near Truro), Digby Neck, and Point Tupper (49 23
percent partner with RESL), and two small turbines at Little Brook and Grand 24
Etang. Please refer to Figure 10. 25
26
Oil-fired combustion turbines at Burnside (Dartmouth), Tusket, and Victoria 27
J unction. 28
29
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Figure 9: Hydro and Tidal Facilities 1
2
3
In addition to wind farms owned by Nova Scotia Power, we purchase electricity on long- 4
term contracts with independently owned wind farms. In fact, the majority of the wind 5
power generated in Nova Scotia comes from wind turbines owned by independent power 6
producers. Independent power producers (IPP) own 131 of the 180 (73 percent) 7
commercial wind turbines in Nova Scotia. As well, presently there are 8 megawatts of 8
privately owned wind capacity on the Nova Scotia Power system through the provinces 9
Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) program. In total, Nova Scotia now has 339 10
megawatts of wind capacity online. An additional 116 megawatts of IPP wind will come 11
online in 2015, and an additional 162 megawatts of wind projects have been registered 12
under the COMFIT program. 13
14
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Figure 10: Commercial Wind Farms NS Power and Independent 1
2
3
We also import electricity via our 350 megawatt transmission interconnection with New 4
Brunswick, when economical imports are available. This is, at present, our only 5
interconnection with the North American electricity grid. 6
7
There are six municipally owned electric utilities in Nova Scotia that own their own 8
distribution systems and serve customers within their franchise territory: Antigonish, 9
Berwick, Canso (now owned by the District of Guysborough), Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, 10
and Riverport. The municipal utilities buy their electricity from Nova Scotia Power and 11
other sources. Nova Scotia Power has an Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) that 12
enables municipal utilities to buy and sell electricity via our wires. 13
14
2.4 Transmission and Distribution Systems 15
16
While our generation sources are geographically diverse increasingly so with the rapid 17
development of wind farms over the past decade Nova Scotia Powers transmission 18
system was primarily designed and built in the 1970s and 1980s to move electricity from 19
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the thermal generating stations at the eastern end of the province to central Nova Scotia 1
and the Halifax load centre. 2
3
Nova Scotias transmission and distribution system includes: 4
5
445 substations (including generation substations) 6
5,274 kilometres of overhead transmission lines operating at voltages from 69 7
kilovolts (kV) to 345 kV (please refer to Figure 11) 8
26,288 kilometres of overhead distribution lines, including approximately 400 9
feeder lines 10
348 kilometres of underground distribution lines 11
Approximately 29,500 transmission towers 12
Approximately 500,000 distribution poles 13
120,025 overhead distribution transformers 14
32,435 fused cutouts along the distribution lines 15
5,136 distribution switches 16
539 distribution reclosers 17
18
Fused cutouts, breakers and reclosers are devices installed along our transmission and 19
distribution system that operate when an electrical fault (such as a tree or branch 20
contacting a power line) is detected on our system. By operating to interrupt the flow of 21
electricity, these devices prevent greater damage to our electrical system. These devices 22
are strategically positioned in order to segment power lines in a way that reduces the 23
number of customers who experience an outage when a fault occurs on a line. 24
25
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Figure 11: Transmission Lines 1
2
3
The various parts of the system work together to instantaneously supply our customers 4
with electricity when they need it. Our generating plants make electricity. High-voltage 5
transmission lines move large amounts of electricity from our plants to the communities 6
we serve. Those transmission lines deliver the electricity to substations, which reduce the 7
voltage of the electricity and send it to lower voltage distribution feeder lines. These 8
feeder lines deliver power to areas serving 1,000 to 6,000 customers. Distribution lines 9
spread out like spider webs from the substations, reaching all of our customers. 10
Transformers on power poles convert power to the lower voltages used in homes and 11
businesses. Individual service lines take power from the pole-top transformer to the 12
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individual home or business. Some large industrial customers are supplied directly from 1
the transmission system. Please refer to Figure 12. 2
3
Figure 12: From Generator to Customer 4
5
6
Nova Scotia Powers transmission system has evolved from a lower voltage system 7
utilizing 23 kV, 69 kV and 138 kV lines that transmitted electricity from generating 8
stations relatively close to customer loads, to a higher voltage system utilizing up to 345 9
kV and capable of transmitting larger amounts of energy from relatively distant 10
generators to the load centre in and around Halifax. During this evolution, higher voltage 11
lines have been constructed parallel to, and sometimes replacing, older transmission lines 12
when additional capacity has been required. This is evident in the east-west transmission 13
corridors between the Sydney area and Halifax, where a single 138 kV line is paralleled 14
by up to three 230 kV lines and a 345 kV transmission line. The eastern Annapolis 15
Valley and South Shore also exhibit this characteristic, where an older 69 kV 16
transmission system has been paralleled and supported by newer 138 kV transmission 17
lines. Where transmission requirements have not grown (in particular in the western 18
Annapolis Valley), the 69 kV lines have been able to serve the transmission requirements 19
for many years. 20
21
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In the area from Greenwood west to Yarmouth, transmission requirements are served by 1
a single 69 kV backbone plus a single 69 kV tie line from the Mersey River hydro system 2
near Milton. This 69 kV backbone is not a single line but rather a series of four lines 3
that are each segments of the backbone. The loss of any two 69 kV lines in this area, 4
while certainly affecting any customers normally supplied from those lines, would not 5
normally result in a service interruption to customers supplied from other lines. 6
7
2.5 Control Centre 8
9
Nova Scotia Powers electricity system is managed from our Control Centre in Halifax. 10
The Control Centre is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, by system operators 11
who dispatch generation to match instantaneous changes in customer demand for 12
electricity. Control Centre staff monitor and manage our transmission and distribution 13
systems using a variety of information technology systems, including our Supervisory 14
Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, which provides real-time telemetry on 15
system components, and our Outage Management System (OMS). 16
17
In major storms like Post-Tropical Storm Arthur, our Emergency Operations Centre 18
(EOC) is activated at the Control Centre, and employees tasked with various EOC roles 19
gather there to manage storm response efforts. This team is comprised of senior leaders 20
from across the company who have been trained in assigned ESRP roles. They bring a 21
wide breadth of knowledge and experience to storm management. Nova Scotia Power 22
also maintains a Back-Up Control Centre, in compliance with Northeast Power 23
Coordinating Council (NPCC) requirements. 24
25
2.6 Transmission Reliability Standards 26
27
Nova Scotia Power is a member of the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC), 28
one of eight regional entities that operate under the compliance monitoring of the North 29
American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). NERC is the international regulatory 30
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authority tasked with enforcing reliability standards and ensuring the reliability of the 1
bulk power system in North America. NPCC is responsible for Ontario, Qubec, Nova 2
Scotia, New Brunswick, the State of New York and the six New England states. Nova 3
Scotia Power complies with NERC and NPCC transmission reliability standards, as 4
approved by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. 5
6
2.7 Outage Notification 7
8
Nova Scotia Power, like most electric utilities, relies on customer calls to report power 9
interruptions. Each outage call is processed by the Outage Management System (OMS) 10
and used in a predictive algorithm to locate the device fused cutout, breaker or recloser 11
that operated to interrupt service. These devices interrupt service when a fault is 12
detected on a power line in order to minimize the number of customers affected and 13
safely disconnect the fault. 14
15
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) telemetry can provide immediate 16
notification of outages of the equipment monitored/controlled by SCADA. System 17
components monitored/controlled by SCADA includes critical transformers, breakers and 18
lines, and substations (but not every device in each substation). When a SCADA- 19
monitored device operates to interrupt service, this information is also passed to the OMS 20
to create a confirmed outage rather than a predicted one. Confirmed outages are removed 21
from the predictive algorithm. As information is relayed from personnel in the field, our 22
OMS is updated with the status of interrupting devices (i.e. whether open or closed) to 23
continually improve the ability of the OMS to correctly predict interrupting devices. 24
25
Nova Scotia Power doesnt widely employ smart meter technology at present. We 26
have approximately 750 AMR (automatic meter reading) and 550 AMI (advanced 27
metering infrastructure) meters deployed. Given their limited deployment, we do not use 28
them for outage monitoring. 29
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3.0 PREPARING FOR POST-TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR 1
2
3.1 Introduction 3
4
This section describes the work coordinated from our Ragged Lake Control Centre in 5
advance of Arthurs arrival to monitor detailed weather forecasts and use experience- 6
based models to predict potential impacts on our electricity system. We do this modeling 7
so that we can secure and pre-stage appropriate personnel and resources in order to 8
safely, quickly, and efficiently restore service to our customers during and following 9
storms. 10
11
3.2 Emergency Services Restoration Plan 12
13
Given Nova Scotias climate and geography jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean being 14
well-prepared for severe storms, and responding in a planned, efficient manner, is a key 15
function at Nova Scotia Power. Our Emergency Services Restoration Plan (ESRP) sets 16
out a coordinated approach to restoring electrical service to our customers in major 17
storms. We developed the ESRP (included as Appendix 3.01) in coordination with the 18
Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board following Hurricane J uan in 2003. 19
20
The ESRP includes a core, corporate plan and five sub-plans: Transmission, Regional 21
Operations, Communications, Customer Coordination and Logistics. The plan has well 22
served Nova Scotia Power and our customers many times over the past 10 years as weve 23
responded to blizzards, ice storms, noreasters, lightning storms, hurricanes and tropical 24
storms. The ESRP is an evergreen plan; we update and improve it to reflect lessons 25
learned from each major storm. 26
27
In support of the ESRP, Nova Scotia Power has built a corporate storm response culture. 28
Employees are educated and trained in emergency response and many employees have a 29
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storm response role. Personnel participate in annual drills to ensure a continual state of 1
readiness to respond to the effects of adverse weather on the power system. 2
3
Prior to Post-Tropical Storm Arthur, 2014, the ESRP was most recently activated for a 4
March 27, 2014 snow storm, as well as February 9, 2013, J anuary 12, 2011 and 5
December 13, 2010, all for winter storms; and September 3, 2010, for Hurricane Earl. 6
Weather forecasts and damage predictions for Arthur bore similarities to what we 7
experienced with Hurricane Earl, so our planning and response to Earl was used as a 8
reference point in our preparations for Arthur. 9
10
3.3 Pre-Planning 11
12
Nova Scotia Power operational staff members review weather forecasts every day during 13
outage coordination meetings at our Ragged Lake Control Centre. Scotia Weather 14
Services is our primary source of weather information. Its a private firm that provides a 15
weather forecast for the next 72 hours in a format that indicates temperature/dew point, 16
precipitation (by type), wind speed, wind direction, and thunderstorm probability all 17
within three-hour time intervals. This report is customized to align with our regional 18
operational structure, providing specific forecasts for eight geographic divisions: South 19
Shore, Valley, Halifax, Northern, North Eastern, Eastern Shore, Western Cape Breton, 20
and Eastern Cape Breton. Additionally, we use hurricane and tropical storm data 21
provided by the Canadian Hurricane Centre, and temperature, wind speed and 22
precipitation forecasts from Environment Canada in our storm planning. 23
24
The following timeline summarizes Nova Scotia Powers preparations for the arrival of 25
Arthur in the first week of J uly 2014: 26
27
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Tuesday, J uly 1, 2014 1
2
8:30 AM The Nova Scotia Power Storm Lead sent an email to the senior 3
Executive, and Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Operational Managers as 4
awareness to prepare for the possibility of weather impacts from Arthur later that 5
week. Attached to the email was the following track: 6
7
Figure 13: Environment Canada Storm Track (6:00 AM July 1) 8
9
10
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Wednesday, J uly 2, 2014 1
2
2:40 AM The first information statement received from the Canadian Hurricane 3
Centre (CHC). Please refer to Appendix 3.02. 4
5
Figure 14: Environment Canada Storm Track (6:00 AM July 2) 6
7
8
9:00 AM At the Control Centre morning meeting, the T&D Operational Team 9
discussed the pending weather, and any transmission assets out of service and 10
planned outages. They decided to return to service all transmission assets that 11
could be and delay the start of any planned maintenance that would continue 12
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beyond Friday, J uly 4. Scotia Weathers 72-hour forecast did not yet have the 1
hurricane within its forecast scope and did not indicate high winds for the 2
upcoming weekend. 3
4
10:00 AM A conference call with the Senior Management Team (SMT) 5
included discussion of Arthur and NS Power preparedness. The Storm Lead 6
directed all senior managers to check availability of their staff for the weekend 7
and to be prepared in case a corporate response was required. 8
9
10:24 AM The Control Centre Manager sent email notification of the current 10
storm track and Canadian Hurricane Centre statement to key personnel within 11
Nova Scotia Power. Please refer to Appendix 3.03. 12
13
10:49 AM Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office (NS-EMO) sent its first 14
informational forecast of Hurricane Arthur. Please refer to Appendix 3.04. 15
16
11:12 AM The Storm Lead sent an email to T&D operational leads asking them 17
to check and confirm crew/contractor availability for the weekend. 18
19
There was still no indication of the hurricane in the Scotia Weather 20
Services forecast. Nova Scotia Powers Control Centre manager called 21
Scotia Weather and was told that information would be available in the 22
afternoon. 23
24
3:00 PM Scotia Weathers forecast indicated warning level winds in the 25
following areas: Halifax, Eastern Shore, and gusts on the South Shore and the 26
Valley up to 100 km/h. Please refer to Appendix 3.05. 27
28
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Figure 15: Environment Canada Storm Track (3:00 PM July 2) 1
2
3
3:30 PM Email notification of current track and Canadian Hurricane Centre 4
statement was forwarded to key personnel within Nova Scotia Power. Please 5
refer to Appendix 3.06. 6
7
4:50 PM Nova Scotia Power received an email from EMO-NS indicating that 8
they were having a briefing on J uly 3 at 3:30 PM and that Nova Scotia Power was 9
invited to attend. Please refer to Appendix 3.07. 10
11
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9:22 PM Scotia Weathers forecast indicated warning level winds (gusting to 90 1
km/h) on the South Shore only. Please refer to Appendix 3.08. 2
3
Thursday, J uly 3, 2014 4
5
5:00 AM Scotia Weathers forecast indicated warning level winds in Cape 6
Breton East region of the province (gusts to 85 km/h). Please refer to Appendix 7
3.09. 8
9
Nova Scotia Power contacted PLT contractors in New Brunswick to check 10
availability. Friday, J uly 4, 11:00 AM was given as the notification time required 11
to ensure any external resources would be pre-staged in Nova Scotia for Friday 12
evening. 13
14
An ESRP scenario planning session was scheduled for 9:00 AM J uly 4 to allow 15
for time to pre-stage contractor crews if required. 16
17
Nova Scotia Power Control Centre Manager emailed the Lead Forecaster of 18
Scotia Weather Services and spoke with him later in the afternoon, requesting 19
scrutiny of the forecasts as we were using them for operational decisions. 20
21
The Control Centre Manager requested that 11:00 AM forecasts be created 22
for the areas of the province at risk: Valley, South Shore and Halifax. 23
These would not have been created otherwise because there were no 24
warning level winds forecasted except for Cape Breton East. 25
26
11:00 AM Scotia Weather Services forecasts were delivered as requested 27
indicating warning level winds in the Valley, South Shore and Halifax with the 28
highest gusts up to 100 km/h on the South Shore. Please refer to Appendix 3.10. 29
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2:17 PM NS-EMO sent its second update. Please refer to Appendix 3.11. 1
2
3:00 PM Scotia Weather forecast showed winds gusting to 100 km/h in Halifax, 3
South Shore and North Eastern, and 90 km/h for all other areas of the province. 4
Please refer to Appendix 3.12. 5
6
3:30 PM EMO-NS hosted a WebEx conference attended by Nova Scotia Power 7
Storm Lead, EOC Duty Officer and Control Centre Manager. 8
9
4:28 PM Email notification of current track and Canadian Hurricane Centre 10
statement was forwarded to key personnel within Nova Scotia Power. Please 11
refer to Appendix 3.13. 12
13
9:00 PM Scotia Weather forecast showed winds gusting to 100 km/h in Halifax, 14
North Eastern and South Shore, and not much higher than 90 km/h in the rest of 15
the province. Please refer to Appendix 3.14. 16
17
Friday, J uly 4, 2014 18
19
5:00 AM Scotia Weather forecast showed winds gusting to 100 km/h in the 20
Valley and South Shore, and most other areas gusting to 90-95 km/h or less. 21
Please refer to Appendix 3.15. 22
23
Nova Scotia Power sent Scotia Weather Services an email asking that the lead 24
forecaster with Scotia Weather Services be involved in the forecasting, because 25
we were using the forecasts to make decisions on whether to bring crews into the 26
province ahead of the storm. 27
28
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9:30 AM The ESRP Scenario Planning Team used the Scotia Weather forecast 1
to model the most likely outage and damage scenario, also running a low and high 2
scenario for planning purposes. Please refer to Section 3.4. 3
4
11:00 AM Scotia Weather forecast showed the Valley and South Shore with 5
winds gusting to 95 to 100 km/h, and most other areas gusting to 90 km/h or less. 6
CB East and West were not updated. Please refer to Appendix 3.16. 7
8
11:30 AM The Event Monitoring Team discussed potential weather. A Level 3 9
response was declared with the EOC opening at 9 AM J uly 5. The decision was 10
made to pre-stage 24 external contractor PLT crews (17 distribution and 7 11
transmission) and seven Damage Assessment crews in advance of the storm. 12
Please refer to Appendix 3.17. 13
14
The NS Power Storm Lead called EMO-NS and notified of the 9:00 AM 15
opening of the Nova Scotia Power EOC. EMO-NS indicated they were 16
not planning on opening their EOC. 17
18
11:53 AM EMO-NS update number 3 was provided by Environment Canada. 19
Nova Scotia Power attended an EMO-NS briefing session at 3:30 PM to receive a 20
weather information update. Please refer to Appendix 3.18. 21
22
12:35 PM Nova Scotia Power Duty Officer for the EOC sent out an email 23
regarding the opening of the EOC. Please refer to Appendix 4.02. 24
25
3:00 PM Scotia Weather forecast showed the South Shore with winds gusting 26
up 100 km/h and most other areas gusting to 80 km/h or less. All forecasts were 27
still within Nova Scotia Powers damage prediction and resource planning 28
scenarios. Please refer to Appendix 3.19. 29
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9:00 PM Scotia Weather forecast showed the South Shore with winds gusting to 1
100 km/h and most other areas gusts to 90 km/h or less. All forecasts were still 2
within Nova Scotia Powers damage prediction and resource planning scenarios. 3
Please refer to Appendix 3.20. 4
5
Saturday, J uly 5, 2014 6
7
5:00 AM Scotia Weather forecast showed the South Shore with winds gusting 8
to 105 km/h, CB West to 95 km/h, and most other areas gusting to 90 km/h or 9
less. All forecasts were still within NS Powers damage prediction and resource 10
planning scenarios. Please refer to Appendix 3.12. 11
12
9:00 AM Nova Scotia Power EOC activated. Please refer to the EOC timeline 13
in Section 4.6. 14
15
11:00 AM Scotia Weather forecast showed winds gusting to 100 km/h on the 16
South Shore, no more than 90 km/h in all other areas, and up to 85 km/h in the 17
Valley. All forecasts were still within Nova Scotia Powers damage prediction 18
and resource planning scenarios. Please refer to Appendix 3.22. 19
20
2:48 PM Final weather update for Arthur issued by EMO-NS. Please refer to 21
Appendix 3.23. 22
23
3:00 PM Scotia Weather forecast showed many regions with winds gusting to 24
90 km/h including the Valley. All forecasts were still within Nova Scotia Powers 25
damage prediction and resource planning scenarios. Please refer to Appendix 26
3.24. 27
28
29
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3.4 Event Predictions and Scenario Planning 1
2
Event prediction is a key part of Nova Scotia Powers storm preparedness, as outlined in 3
Section 5.1 of our ESRP
1
. Our event prediction process uses weather forecasts, system 4
data and the damage experience from past storms to model potential storm impacts to our 5
electrical system, predicting where damage may occur and the magnitude of the damage. 6
We use this in our pre-event planning to guide decisions and preparations. It helps us 7
plan our response level and pre-storm deployment of resources. 8
9
The Scenario Planning Team is a group of Transmission & Distribution operational 10
leaders who bring previous storm experience as well as analytical thinking to the process. 11
During the first week of J uly, as then-Hurricane Arthur approached Nova Scotia, our 12
Event Monitoring Team continually tracked its path and prepared for our response, a 13
detailed list of this activity is included in Section 3.3. The Storm Lead called together the 14
Scenario Planning Team (listed below) at the Ragged Lake Control Centre at 9:30 AM on 15
Friday, J uly 4. 16
17
Storm Lead (Shift A) Senior Director of T&D and Control Centre Operations 18
Storm Lead (Shift B) 19
Customer Lead 20
Regional Operations Lead 21
EOC Duty Officer 22
Former NS Power EOC Duty Officer 23
24


1
Please refer to Appendix 3.01, page 52.
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The Scenario Planning team used our three-step event prediction process to model 1
potential impacts from Arthur: 2
3
(1) Compare pending weather to historical events that have affected Nova Scotia 4
Power and its power system. Use past storm experiences to help predict how 5
the event will unfold. 6
7
The Scenario Planning team reviewed the most current weather forecasts for 8
Arthur on Friday, J uly 4, in order to find comparable events that have affected 9
Nova Scotia over the last few years. Particular focus was put on summer events 10
given that the ground in Nova Scotia is no longer frozen, and the trees are full 11
with leaves (two important considerations in damage prediction). Five 12
comparative summer events were considered: J uan (2003), Beryl (2006), Kyle 13
(2008), Earl (2010) and Andrea (2013). Each of these five events were tropical 14
systems that either made landfall within Nova Scotia, or just missed the 15
province. Tracks for each of these storms are shown in Appendix 3.25. Two 16
winter events (2010 and 2011) were also referenced due to the fact that they had 17
high wind gusts along the South Shore and in the Valley. Figure 16 shows a 18
comparison of each event including, peak wind speeds, customers affected at peak 19
and the total number of outage events. 20
21
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Figure 16: Comparison of Nova Scotia Power Storm Events 1
Event Halifax
Peak
Wind
Gusts
South
Shore
Peak
Wind
Gusts
Valley
Peak
Wind
Gusts
Peak
Customers
Affected
Total
Outage
Events
J uan Sept. 2003 143 35 56 >260,000 N/A
Beryl J uly 2006 <31 61 54 <10,000 158
Kyle Sept. 2008 91 80 67 22,000 209
Earl Sept. 2010 120 69 65 186,000 3,254
Winter Storm Dec 2010 102 80 111 79,000 1,889
Winter NorEaster Oct 2011 74 104 74 45,000 1,141
Andrea J une 2013 56 67 33 <10,000 57
Arthur 2014 Forecast 80 100 80 105,000 2,910
Arthur 2014 Actual 94 113 139 137,000 4,086
2
Based on this review, it was determined that both Kyle and Earl were the most 3
similar events for comparison purposes. The planning team used the data 4
associated with Hurricane Earl for scenario planning since it had the greatest 5
effect on the power system of the storms considered. This was a more 6
conservative approach for planning. 7
8
(2) Use the Nova Scotia Power Damage Prediction Model to determine a low-, 9
medium- and high-case scenario for the event to estimate the number of: 10
customers affected, person-hours of PLT work, person-hours of tree crews 11
work, feeders off, branch lines off, services impacted, conductor spans 12
downed, transformers damaged, poles damaged and the number of trees on 13
spans. 14
15
A damage prediction model for Arthur was run several times through the first 16
week of J uly, but variations in the forecasted wind levels made it difficult to 17
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determine an agreed upon damage scenario. On the morning of Friday, J uly 4, the 1
Scenario Planning Team used the 5:00 AM weather forecast from Scotia Weather 2
Services as well as the weather update provided on Thursday, J uly 3, by 3
Environment Canada. Figure 17 shows the weather forecast and the wind levels 4
used for planning purposes. (Planning Med Case refers to Nova Scotia Powers 5
prediction of the most likely scenario). 6
7
Figure 17: Forecasted Wind Gusts as of 5:00 AM July 4, 2014 8
9
10
In order to address the variability in weather forecasting, Nova Scotia Power 11
increased the forecast by up to 33 percent in some areas for planning purposes. 12
This was done to take a conservative view of both the Scotia Weather Services 13
and Environment Canada weather forecasts. The expected wind speeds for the 14
Valley were lower than the wind speeds for the South Shore and Halifax due to 15
the Scenario Planning Teams historical experience with Atlantic storms with 16
winds on the right and rains on the left of the track. This forecast was also 17
supported by the Friday, J uly 4, 3:00 PM wind forecast from Scotia Weather 18
Services which downgraded the Valley forecast to peak wind gusts of 80km/h as 19
shown in Figure 18. 20
100 100
90 90 90 90
95
90
120
100
120
100
120
100 100 100
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
South
Shore
Valley Halifax Northern North
Eastern
Eastern
Shore
Western
Cape
Breton
Eastern
Cape
Breton
W
i
n
d

G
u
s
t
s

(
k
m
/
h
)
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur
Forecasted Wind Gusts as of 5 AM July 4, 2014
Forecast - 5AM J ul 4th Planning - Med Case
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Figure 18: Forecasted Wind Gusts as of 3:00 PM July 4, 2014 1
2
3
Three different scenarios were modeled as shown in Appendix 3.26. Based on the 4
current Scotia Weather Services and Environment Canada weather forecasts, the 5
Scenario Planning Team agreed that the most probable outcome was modelled in 6
the Low case (70,474 customers affected and 4,091 person-hours of restoration 7
work). For planning purposes, however, the team considered their experience and 8
the unpredictability of the weather and increased the wind gusts to create a more 9
conservative Medium case (105,195 customers affected and 5,821 person-hours 10
of restoration work). 11
12
100
80 80 80 80
75 75
70
120
100
120
100
120
100 100 100
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
South
Shore
Valley Halifax Northern North
Eastern
Eastern
Shore
Western
Cape
Breton
Eastern
Cape
Breton
W
i
n
d

G
u
s
t
s

(
k
m
/
h
)
Post -Tropical Storm Arthur
Forecasted Wind Gusts as of 3 PM July 4, 2014
Forecast - 3PM J uly 4th Planning - Med Case
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(3) Use the Nova Scotia Power Scenario Planning Model to determine the 1
expected event duration and restoration curve based on the output from the 2
Damage Prediction Model and the number of available resources. 3
4
The Scenario Planning Team next used the Scenario Planning Model (in-house 5
developed, Excel-based tool) to determine the event duration and restoration 6
curve. 7
8
The first step in this process is to enter the expected outage durations as shown in 9
Appendix 3.27. Estimates for First Customer Off, Time of Peak Outages, Start of 10
Restoration, and Last Customer On were entered using the outage restoration 11
curve from Hurricane Earl as a reference. The Scenario Planning Team predicted 12
a similar outage restoration rate for this event, so a Last Customer On date of 13
Monday, J uly 7, at 11:00 PM was chosen for all areas. 14
15
The second step in this process is to enter all available resources in the Scenario 16
Planning Model to determine if the desired restoration times can be achieved, or if 17
more resources are required. Current resource levels were entered for Nova 18
Scotia Power crews, in-province contractors, night crews and tree crews as shown 19
in Appendix 3.28, page 1. 20
21
With this level of resourcing the model indicated a 10-crew deficit to achieving 22
the desired restoration durations. Next, the team modelled adding 10 outside 23
crews (off-system contractor crews), pre-staged and ready to work on Saturday, 24
J uly 5, as Arthur made landfall in Nova Scotia. Appendix 3.28, page 2 shows that 25
this model indicated a balanced resource plan with no surplus or deficit of 26
resource. The Scenario Planning Team once again took a more conservative 27
approach in its planning and ran the model with 20 outside crews. Appendix 28
3.28, page 3 shows that this model run indicated a surplus of 10 crews based on 29
the targeted restoration duration. With this analysis, the decision was made to 30
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recommend pre-staging 20 outside contractor crews within the province in 1
advance of Arthur making landfall in Nova Scotia. The Scenario Planning Team 2
predicted that these conservative assumptions would result in the restoration curve 3
as shown in Appendix 3.29. This restoration curve was very similar to the actual 4
curve achieved after Hurricane Earl in 2010 as shown in Appendix 3.30. 5
6
The scenario planning session concluded at 11:00 AM on J uly 4. Following the 7
meeting, the Storm Lead contacted the Executive VP Customer, Business and 8
Financial Services to obtain approval to pre-stage the outside contractor crews. 9
Approval was granted and the request was initiated to secure the external contact 10
crews. 11
12
3.5 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 13
14
1. The actual winds recorded in the province were much higher than forecast, and 15
even higher in the Valley than the conservative estimates used in planning. Scotia 16
Weather Services has conducted a detailed review to determine the cause of the 17
significant inaccuracies in its forecast, particularly with regard to the wind speeds 18
experienced across Nova Scotia. As part of the Scotia Weather Services Report, 19
they confirmed that accepted methodologies were followed in creating their 20
forecasts and that their forecasts were consistent with those of Environment 21
Canada. Please refer to Appendix 3.31 (Scotia Weather Services Report). 22
23
Figure 19 summarizes the variance in the 3:00 PM J uly 4 Scotia Weather Services 24
wind gust forecasts across Nova Scotia versus those we used for scenario 25
planning, as well as those actually recorded on Saturday, J uly 5. The actual wind 26
gusts in the Valley on Saturday, J uly 5, were 74 percent higher than Scotia 27
Weather Services forecasted. 28
29
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Figure 19: Summary of Variances of Wind Gusts July 5, 2014 1
2
3
2. The actual track of Arthur was very different from forecast and followed a path 4
similar to Hurricane Kyle in 2008, but with much stronger winds in the Valley. 5
Figure 20 shows the peak wind gusts (by year) for Greenwood from 1994 to 2014. 6
The previous peak wind gusts were recorded in 1995 at 124 km/h (12 percent 7
lower than those recorded during Arthur). Figure 20 also shows bar graphs for 8
the number of hours each year when wind gusts were recorded above 70 km/h and 9
above 90 km/h. In 2014, there have been 11 hours in Greenwood with wind gusts 10
above 90km/h, nearly double any previous full year. 11
12
100
80 80 80 80
75 75
70
120
100
120
100
120
100 100 100
113
139
94
80
87
93
96
83
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
South
Shore
Valley Halifax Northern North
Eastern
Eastern
Shore
Western
Cape
Breton
Eastern
Cape
Breton
W
i
n
d

G
u
s
t
s

(
k
m
/
h
)
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur
Wind Gusts July 5, 2014
Forecast - 3PM J uly 4th Planning - Med Case Actual
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Figure 20: Modeling Data to be Included in Future Events 1
2
3
3. In the days following Arthur, Nova Scotia Power ran the Scenario Planning 4
Model using the actual wind speeds recorded on J uly 5. The model made an 5
accurate prediction of the actual number of customers affected and the crew hours 6
required to restore power. 7
8
4. The high winds during Arthur in the Valley led to multiple 69 kV transmission 9
line outages. While we prepare extensively for transmission outages, as detailed 10
in Section 6, our Scenario Planning Model does not model transmission outages 11
or restoration times, because wind storms primarily cause distribution outages. 12
We will update our model to predict both distribution and transmission outages 13
together. 14
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4.0 ARTHURS ARRIVAL AND OUR RESPONSE 1
2
4.1 Introduction 3
4
This section provides detail on the damage Post-Tropical Storm Arthur caused to our 5
electricity system, customer outages, and how restoration progressed. It includes a 6
summary of our safety procedures and record during the response, and a timeline of 7
activities at our Emergency Operations Centre. 8
9
4.2 Damage Details 10
11
On Saturday, J uly 5, 2014, Post-Tropical Storm Arthur tore across Nova Scotia, bringing 12
stronger winds than had been forecast and causing significant damage to our electricity 13
system. Wind gusts upwards of 90 km/h were recorded at the Yarmouth airport at 5:30 14
AM. By 6:00 AM, we had outages to approximately 13,000 customers, along with our 15
first transmission line outage. By 11:00 AM, much of the South Shore and Valley were 16
being battered by wind gusts over 100 km/h, an additional 12 transmission lines were out 17
of service, and 124,000 customers were without power. 18
19
The storms path from southwest to northeast concentrated the damage in the service 20
areas of Bridgewater, Liverpool, Shelburne, Barrington, Yarmouth, Clare, Digby, 21
Bridgetown, Kingston, Coldbrook and Stellarton. Figure 21 shows a typical example of 22
this damage. 23
24
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Figure 21: Typical Arthur Storm Damage 1
2
3
The sustained duration of the storm, with 90 km/h wind gusts continuing past 9:00 PM 4
Saturday, J uly 5, meant damage to the electrical system continued to occur well into the 5
night. By the end of the day, a peak of 137,000 customers had lost power, as illustrated 6
in Figure 22, and 29 transmission lines had been knocked out of service. 7
8
Figure 22: Customer Outage Profile 9
10
0
20,000
40,000
60,000
80,000
100,000
120,000
140,000
Saturday Sunday Monday TuesdayWednesdayThursday Friday Saturday Sunday
#

o
f

C
u
s
t
o
m
e
r
s

O
u
t
J uly 5th - 12th, 2014
Western Central Eastern Provincial
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4.3 Restoration Begins: Safety First 1
2
The safety of our customers and employees is Nova Scotia Powers top priority. 3
4
The restoration of power following Post-Tropical Storm Arthur was completed safely, 5
with no lost-time injuries. Nova Scotia Power conducted thorough safety preparation 6
prior to the event, and employees adhered to safety practices throughout the restoration. 7
Field personnel, reporting extreme winds, stood down for their safety at 11:00 AM J uly 8
5, resuming work at approximately 1:00 PM. The nature of the storm was such that 9
extreme weather would ramp up and down several times throughout the day. 10
11
Safety preparations began two days before Arthur arrived. Safety Department members 12
were notified on Thursday, J uly 3, that if the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was 13
activated, they would be deployed to locations across the province where damage was 14
anticipated, beginning on Saturday, J uly 5. In order to provide provincial coverage, 15
Safety Specialists were positioned in Yarmouth, Sackville and Sydney (one in each), and 16
two were assigned to the EOC, one covering the dayshift (9:00 AM), the other covering 17
the nightshift (9:00 PM). On J uly 6, the Safety Specialist from Sydney was moved to the 18
Stellarton area when the forecasted weather in Cape Breton did not materialize. During 19
the week, Safety Specialists were also moved to Truro, Bridgewater and Digby. 20
21
The Safety Specialists provided daily safety messages that were delivered to all 22
employees involved in the storm response prior to commencement of work. Their 23
messages focused on: risk assessments, Standard Protection Code, back feed from 24
generators and induction from nearby energized lines, traffic control, driving conditions, 25
weather conditions, heat stress, fatigue, defensive driving, environmental conditions, and 26
all potential hazards to both the public and employees. 27
28
Before starting every job, crews completed an assessment of all potential risks that could 29
be encountered. Risk assessment forms were completed by the crews when they arrived 30
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at their destination. They identified the hazards and risks associated with the work and 1
put controls in place to eliminate or mitigate the risks. Work days were limited to 16 2
hours per day, which included travel to and from work. 3
4
During Arthur, the Safety Department completed orientations for contractor and off- 5
system mutual aid work groups. Orientations took place in Halifax, Truro and Digby. 6
Safety Specialists also conducted site visits, entered incident reports, investigated first aid 7
events, and participated in Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) meetings and Regional 8
Operation Supervisors (ROPS) calls. 9
10
There were three first aid incidents reported during the Arthur storm response, including 11
an injured ankle, an asthma attack, and a fall. None resulted in a recordable safety 12
incident. 13
14
The safety statistics from Post -Tropical Storm Arthur are: 15
16
3 first aid incidents 17
5 high potential incidents 18
14 pro-active at risk reports 19
20
4.4 Restoration Priorities 21
22
In response to an emergency, Nova Scotia Power places the safety of the public and its 23
employees as its highest priority. We work in partnership with emergency agencies to 24
respond quickly and effectively to the event. In terms of restoration priorities, Nova 25
Scotia Power will respond in the following order: 26
27
1. Public Safety/Emergency Situations and Critical Care Customers 28
2. NS Power Critical Transmission Infrastructure 29
3. EMO Critical Infrastructure priorities 30
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4. Main line feeders (3 phase) 1
5. Branch lines (3 phase and 1 phase) 2
6. Individual services 3
4
As a practice, crews will endeavor to repair individual customer services (homes and 5
business) in an assigned area after street side electricity supplies have been restored, and 6
provided the customers meter mast is intact and safe to connect. 7
8
Figure 23: Individual Service Damage 9
10
11
4.5 Restoration Details Overview 12
13
A total of 245,000 individual Nova Scotia Power customers experienced a power outage 14
during this storm. To restore power to these customers, Nova Scotia Power crews 15
responded to over 4,070 unique events. Over the course of the storm response, Nova 16
Scotia Power engaged as many as 271 Power Line Technicians (146 NS Power PLTs and 17
125 external PLTs) to repair the damage and restore power. The external crews were 18
brought in from Emera Utility Services, Emera Maine and private contractors from New 19
Brunswick. 20
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As transmission lines and main feeders were restored, Nova Scotia Power gained 1
visibility to embedded outages. That is, as each feeder outage was restored, any branch 2
line outage or individual outages remaining were then able to be identified and prioritized 3
for restoration as new outage events. Hence, the number of events grew in the days after 4
the storm. Figure 24 shows the distribution of active outages throughout the storm 5
restoration with a peak of 1,650 events on Monday, J uly 7, and a total of 4,070 events 6
overall. 7
8
Figure 24: Outage Event Profile 9
10
11
The scope of damage to our electrical system was concentrated in the Western region, but 12
significant equipment replacements and repairs were made across the province. Nova 13
Scotia Power rebuilt the equivalent of 47 kilometres of distribution line during the storm, 14
which included rebuilding approximately 938 spans of primary wire and the equivalent of 15
500 service connections. Further, more than 10,000 spans of primary wire were repaired 16
as a result of storm damage. Additionally, two wood-pole transmission structures were 17
0
200
400
600
800
1,000
1,200
1,400
1,600
1,800
Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday WednesdayThursday Friday Saturday Sunday
#

o
f

O
u
t
a
g
e

E
v
e
n
t
s
t
July5th 12th,2014
Western Central Eastern Provincial
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replaced, with a further 76 transmission structures and six spans of conductor were 1
repaired. 2
3
A summary of the materials utilized during the course of the storm is presented in Figure 4
25, which reflects the volume and type of equipment which sustained damage. The 5
majority of the materials required to repair the damage to the electrical system were 6
utilized in the Western region. Only 3.3 percent of outages were due to equipment 7
failure. 8
9
We encountered no material shortages in our response to Post-Tropical Storm Arthur. 10
11
Figure 25: Materials Utilized During Post-Tropical Storm Arthur Restoration 12
Material West Central East Total
Anchor 48 76 13 294
Cross Arm 191 154 29 374
Cutout 458 169 147 774
Guy Wire 660 - 120 780
Insulator 1,473 326 603 2,402
Pole 196 56 6 258
Sleeve 7,587 2,102 1,898 11,587
Transformer 64 18 - 82
Wire Primary (m) 35,240 6,256 5,435 46,931
Wire Service (m) 7,197 4,218 2,989 14,404
13
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4.6 Emergency Operations Centre 1
2
In major storms like Post-Tropical Storm Arthur, our Emergency Operations Centre 3
(EOC) is activated at the Control Centre, and employees tasked with various EOC roles 4
gather there to centrally manage storm response efforts, as per our Emergency Services 5
Restoration Plan (ESRP). 6
7
Figure 26: Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Nova Scotia Power Control 8
Centre 9
10
11
In preparation for the arrival of Arthur, EOC members were contacted on the morning of 12
Thursday, J uly 3, by the Duty Officer via telephone, rotating twelve-hour shifts were 13
established (A and B shifts), and the availability of personnel was confirmed. A copy of 14
the EOC organization chart and final EOC roster is attached as Appendix 4.01. 15
16
Logistic teams were activated for the following areas: 17
18
1. Facilities, Goods & Services 19
2. Fleet 20
3. Food & Accommodations 21
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4. Materials 1
5. Administration 2
6. IT & Communications 3
4
Logistics planning activities included: 5
6
Regional Storekeepers were asked to check depot material levels on items that are 7
typically used in a storm and to bring stock levels up as contingency. 8
9
Buyers confirmed material availability in Central Stores and made arrangements 10
to bring stocks levels up where needed. 11
12
Critical suppliers were notified about the pending storm, their stock levels were 13
confirmed, and plans were put in place to provide material support if needed. 14
15
Vehicles were staged in a number of areas on Friday, J uly 4 for the Damage 16
Assessment teams to use. 17
18
Facility inspection reports for regional support hubs where reviewed for potential 19
issues and arrangements were made to have extra IT and communications 20
equipment on hand if needed. 21
22
Staffing arrangements were made for all support functions. 23
24
The Scenario Planning Team met at 9:30 AM Friday, J uly 4, at the Ragged Lake Control 25
Centre to complete storm prediction and scenario planning. The outcome of the scenario 26
planning indicated that Nova Scotia Power should prepare for a Level 3 event (50,000 27
customers out, or 36 hours to restore). The Early Monitoring Team held a call at 11:30 28
AM on Friday, J uly 4, and the decision was made to open the EOC. An email was sent at 29
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1:36 PM by the Duty Officer to the ESRP members and various executives to notify them 1
of the plan to open the EOC (please refer to Appendix 4.02). 2
3
The following timeline summarizes Nova Scotia Powers EOC operations from J uly 5 4
through J uly 11: 5
6
Saturday, J uly 5 7
8
7:40 AM ETR strategy version 1 was issued via email from the manager of the 9
Resource Management Centre (RMC). Please refer to Appendix 4.03. 10
11
8:00 AM Regional Operations Supervisors (ROPS) conference call. 12
13
9:00 AM The EOC opened with the A shift on duty. 14
15
9:30 AM EOC conference call with both A & B shifts in attendance. 16
17
12:00 PM ROPS conference call. 18
19
12:49 PM ETR strategy version 2 was issued via email from the EOC Customer 20
Coordinator. Please refer to Appendix 4.03. 21
22
3:15 PM ROPS conference call. 23
24
4:00 PM EOC conference call. 25
26
6:44 PM ETR strategy version 3 was issued via email from the EOC Customer 27
Coordinator. Please refer to Appendix 4.03. 28
29
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8:00 PM ROPS conference call. 1
2
9:00 PM EOC B shift on duty. 3
4
10:00 PM EOC conference call. 5
6
Sunday, J uly 6 7
8
4:00 AM EOC conference call. 9
10
6:19 AM ETR strategy version 4 was issued via email from the EOC Customer 11
Coordinator. Please refer to Appendix 4.03. 12
13
7:30 AM EOC conference call. 14
15
9:00 AM EOC A shift on duty. 16
17
9:00 AM ROPS conference call. 18
19
11:30 AM ETR strategy version 5 (Appendix 4.03) was implemented by the 20
RMC, and a summary was provided via email from the EOC Customer 21
Coordinator at 3:12 PM. A detailed feeder report Excel spreadsheet was included 22
in the email (not attached). 23
24
3:30 PM ROPS conference call. 25
26
4:30 PM EOC conference call. 27
28
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6:00 PM ETR strategy version 6 (Appendix 4.03) was implemented by the 1
RMC and a summary was provided via email from the EOC Customer 2
Coordinator at 7:58 PM. A detailed feeder report Excel spreadsheet was included 3
in the email (not attached). 4
5
9:00 PM EOC B shift on duty. 6
7
9:00 PM ROPS conference call. 8
9
11:00 PM ETR strategy version 7 (Appendix 4.03) was implemented by the 10
RMC and a summary was provided via email from the EOC Customer 11
Coordinator at 1:08 AM, Monday, J uly 7. 12
13
Monday, J uly 7 14
15
12:25 AM EOC conference call. 16
17
4:00 AM EOC conference call. 18
19
7:30 AM EOC conference call. 20
21
9:00 AM EOC A shift on duty. 22
23
9:00 AM ROPS conference call. 24
25
3:17 PM ESRP members notified via email from the EOC Duty Officer that a B 26
shift will not be required overnight Monday and that no further EOC conference 27
calls were scheduled. 28
29
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3:30 PM ROPS conference call. 1
2
9:00 PM EOC was officially deactivated. The storm response was reclassified 3
as Level 2: Regional Response and the members of the ESRP were notified via 4
email from the Duty Officer at 9:31 PM (please refer to Appendix 4.02). A copy 5
of the EOC Decision Log is included in Appendix 4.04. The Storm Lead, 6
Regional Operations Lead and the Duty Officer continued to work from the EOC 7
location until Friday, J uly 11, to provide storm support to the regions and EMO- 8
NS, as required. 9
10
9:00 PM ETR strategy version 8 (Appendix 4.03) was implemented by the 11
RMC and a summary was provided via email from the EOC Customer 12
Coordinator at 9:27 PM. A detailed feeder report Excel spreadsheet was included 13
in the email (not attached). 14
15
Tuesday, J uly 8 16
17
8:30 AM ROPS conference call. 18
19
12:00 PM ETR strategy version 9 (Appendix 4.03) was implemented by the 20
RMC and a summary was provided via email from the RMC Manager at 1:57 21
PM. 22
23
9:00 PM ROPS conference call. 24
25
Wednesday, J uly 9 26
27
9:00 AM ROPS conference call. 28
29
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Coordinated field validation of one-of events to verify status and assist in 1
efficient restoration. 2
3
Thursday, J uly 10 4
5
2:00 PM ETR strategy version 10 (Appendix 4.03) was implemented by the 6
RMC and a summary was provided via email from the RMC Manager at 2:51 PM 7
8
Coordinated inquiries and responses to customer escalations through EMO-NS 9
and Nova Scotia Powers Customer Care Centre. 10
11
Continued to coordinate field validation of one-of events to verify status and 12
assist in efficient restoration. 13
14
Friday, J uly 11 15
16
9:00 AM ETR strategy version 11 (Appendix 4.03) was implemented by the 17
RMC and a summary was provided via email from the RMC Manager at 11:10 18
AM. 19
20
Continued to coordinate inquiries and responses to customer escalations through 21
EMO-NS and Nova Scotia Powers Customer Care Centre. 22
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5.0 RESTORING POWER: DAMAGE ASSESSMENT 1
2
5.1 Introduction 3
4
This section describes the role our Damage Assessment teams played in restoring power 5
to our customers following Post-Tropical Storm Arthur, as well as resource allocation of 6
those teams. 7
8
Figure 27: Picture from Damage Assessment Team 9
10
11
5.2 Damage Assessment Overview 12
13
Assessing of the location, type and extent of damage to the system is critical in every 14
storm response. Trained crews and individuals conduct these assessments in the field to 15
determine the full extent of damage, so we can make appropriate plans to restore power. 16
17
Nova Scotia Power uses information from our Outage Management System (OMS), 18
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, and customer call details in 19
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advance of receiving the field validated data to create a preliminary estimate of the 1
resources and time needed for the restoration. 2
3
In a large storm, we visually inspect transmission and distribution plant infrastructure as 4
quickly as possible to allow for the most accurate picture of the storm damage and to 5
accelerate the planning process. Nova Scotia Power has a documented and tested damage 6
assessment process to collect this data, as outlined below. While the data is being 7
collected, our planning support teams adjust the priorities in the restoration plan to reflect 8
the type and location of the damage. For more information on the damage assessment 9
process, please refer to Appendix 5.01. 10
11
5.2.1 Damage Assessment Pre-Staging and Response 12
13
While Post-Tropical Storm Arthur was still active, pre-staged Damage Assessment teams 14
began the work of conducting vehicle patrols of their assigned feeders, starting at the 15
substation and working down line in teams of two (one driver, one assessor) on the 16
morning of Saturday, J uly 5. Information regarding the severity of the event began to 17
flow from the damage assessment teams into the EOC at 3:00 PM Saturday. With 29 18
transmission lines out of service, many substations were without a source. Damage 19
Assessment teams were dispatched to the feeders impacted by the transmission outages, 20
so when the source was returned, power could be restored to these areas without further 21
delay. 22
23
At 6:00 AM on the morning of Sunday, J uly 6 (Day 2), with the advantage of clear 24
weather, two helicopters with experienced line personnel began patrolling the damaged 25
transmission lines, reporting their findings in real time where cellular service allowed. 26
The helicopters were used to assess damage to remote distribution lines once the 27
transmission work was complete. This storm impacted 21,595 kilometres of distribution 28
line and 1,109 kilometres of transmission line. Damage Assessment teams needed to 29
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physically review all infrastructure in order to identify the full extent of damage to the 1
electrical system. 2
3
At the end of Saturday, J uly 5, 44 percent of damage assessment on feeder outages had 4
been completed; 68 percent by end of Sunday, and 93 percent by end of Monday. 5
Damage assessment was completed on Tuesday, J uly 8 (Day 4), after which the Damage 6
Assessors were re-tasked regionally to verify one-of calls to be dispatched once larger 7
outages were restored. 8
9
The goal of the Damage Assessment team is to provide the EOC with an overall 10
assessment of the magnitude and extent of the damage to the power system and 11
recommend priorities for restoration. Damage assessment data is collected electronically 12
using a mobile GIS smartphone application. The data is synchronized from the field to a 13
GIS server, and then the magnitude of the damage is reviewed at the EOC. The collected 14
data is also a key input to the Resource Management Centre, which uses the data 15
overnight to plan restoration assignments for teams the following morning. 16
17
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Figure 28: Picture from Damage Assessment Team 1
2
3
5.2.2 Damage Assessment Resource Allocation 4
5
Pre-event scenario planning is conducted by a core group within the EOC, as detailed in 6
Section 3.4. The number of Damage Assessment teams and where they will be pre- 7
staged is determined and then carried out by the Damage Assessment Coordinator. Based 8
on the predicted path of the storm, in addition to Regional Planners and local Meter 9
Services staff, seven two-person Damage Assessment teams were pre-staged on Friday, 10
J uly 4, prior to the storm reaching Nova Scotia; two teams on the South Shore 11
(Liverpool), two teams in the Valley (New Minas), and three teams in Halifax. 12
Additional Damage Assessment teams were deployed, primarily to the West, on J uly 6 13
and 7. After the EOC was deactivated on J uly 7, the Western Region continued to deploy 14
Damage Assessors on J uly 8 through 12, as shown in Figure 29. 15
16
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Figure 29: Post-Tropical Storm Arthur Damage Assessment Resources 1
2
3
As damage assessment data became available, restoration plans were adjusted to reflect 4
the multiple repairs required to restore each event. While crews would normally expect a 5
single issue for each event on the system, such as a failed transformer, they often 6
encountered multiple issues requiring repair for each event; for example, trees on 7
electrical equipment, a broken pole, conductor down, etc. Some feeders required a full 8
day of tree removal before repair of power infrastructure could begin. 9
10
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Figure 30: Damaged Transformer 1
2
3
5.3 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 4
5
1. We have recognized through previous storms that damage assessment is critical. 6
However, in storms with winds like those experienced in Arthur, having more 7
Damage Assessors pre-staged would help us gain an accurate assessment of the 8
damage in a shorter time frame. 9
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6.0 RESTORING POWER: TRANSMISSION SYSTEM 1
2
6.1 Introduction 3
4
This section describes the restoration of our transmission system, and the role our 5
Transmission Operations team played in restoring power to our customers following 6
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur. 7
8
6.2 Transmission Operations Pre-Staging for Arthur 9
10
Transmission Operations planning for Arthur started on the afternoon of Wednesday, J uly 11
2, and by the end of that day staff availability lists for internal substation and 12
transmission line resources were in place (please refer to Figure 31). In addition, seven 13
transmission line contractor crews were engaged by the end of the day. These crews 14
were pre-staged across the province in advance of the storm on Friday, J uly 4; one in Port 15
Hawkesbury, three in Milton, and three in Bridgetown. 16
17
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Figure 31: Transmission Operations Organization Chart 1
2
3
Transmission hardware and wood product, such as poles and cross arms, were also pre- 4
staged around the province in Port Hawkesbury, Milton, and Bridgetown. Nova Scotia 5
Power proactively obtained additional overhead line equipment from external contractors 6
to allow our off-road based transmission crews to switch to working overhead on-road 7
distribution after the transmission damage was repaired. The transmission inspection 8
database was queried to identify any high priority repairs which should be completed 9
prior to the storm, and none required action. The team consisted of a Transmission 10
Operations Lead with two alternates available and three Transmission Coordinators. 11
12
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6.3 Transmission Operations Response to Arthur 1
2
The Transmission Operations team was in place in the EOC at 7:00 AM on Saturday, 3
J uly 5, monitoring the progression of the storm and outage events. The team was 4
responsible for planning, developing, and managing the execution of the transmission 5
emergency restoration activities. Crews and inspection teams were dispatched to events 6
as they occurred. The Transmission Operations team coordinated materials, switching 7
and permits, reviewed fault location data and provided crews with efficient access points 8
to the transmission right-of-way. 9
10
As the winds continued throughout the day, primarily off right-of-way trees continued to 11
fall into the 69 kV lines while they were de-energized. At the end of the day on J uly 5, 12
31,831 customers were affected by transmission outages. Work continued for the EOC 13
Transmission Operations team 24 hours a day, prioritizing the restoration of transmission 14
events, and dispatching all available off-road equipment to these locations. In particular, 15
attention was paid to identifying opportunities to isolate damaged sections of line and 16
restore transmission system integrity as quickly as possible. Priority was given to lines 17
impacting system security first, customer outages next, and finally all remaining issues, 18
as per the restoration priorities in Section 4.4. 19
20
At the end of day on Sunday, J uly 6, there were only two customers still affected by 21
transmission outages: Acadia University (L5035) and the Rio Algom tin mine (L5535). 22
The final restoration to a transmission affected customer occurred at 9:00 PM Monday, 23
J uly 7. A visual representation of the transmission lines that experienced outages is 24
shown in Figure 32 and a detailed description of the transmission events is included in 25
Appendix 6.01. 26
27
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Figure 32: Transmission Line Outages & Repairs 1
2
3
6.4 Helicopter Patrols 4
5
Most transmission lines run cross-country, through isolated terrain and sometimes 6
environmentally sensitive areas. Generally, we access transmission lines via all-terrain 7
vehicles and other off-road machinery, or review them from the air via helicopter. 8
9
Two helicopters left Halifax at 6:00 AM Sunday, J uly 6, and patrolled transmission lines 10
L5025, L5026, L5532, L5535, L5533, L5531, L5538, and L5035. From the air, the 11
transmission line experts were able to identify the exact location of trees or other damage 12
to the transmission line. When cell service was available, real-time damage assessment 13
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data was relayed back to the EOC Transmission Operations team for prioritization and 1
planning. The damage was observed to be caused by off right-of-way trees and had 2
resulted in broken spar arms, insulators and conductors. Numerous instances of storm 3
damaged overhead ground wire were proactively identified and repaired. 4
5
Helicopter patrols of transmission lines of all voltage classes continued through to Friday, 6
J uly 11. Trees were removed during short outages to the transmission line (L6004 no 7
customers affected due to multiple transmission supplies), and under live-line techniques 8
to the transmission lines (L5024, L8001, L5545 and L5546). 9
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7.0 RESTORING POWER: DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM 1
2
7.1 Introduction 3
4
This section describes the restoration of our electricity distribution system following 5
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur. The role played by our Regional Operations team and others 6
in restoring power to our customers is described in detail. A day-by-day synopsis reports 7
the daily progress of our restoration efforts. 8
9
7.2 Regional Operations Organization and Field Resources 10
11
Nova Scotia Power field restoration was managed and executed by a team of experienced 12
utility personnel who have worked large storms in the past. The Regional Operations 13
Storm Organizational Chart, shown in Figure 33 outlines the depth and breadth of the 14
team involved in the Arthur regional restoration. 15
16
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Figure 33: Regional Operations Storm Organizational Chart, Post-Tropical Storm 1
Arthur 2
3
4
By Friday night, J uly 4, Nova Scotia Power and contractor line crews were staged across 5
Nova Scotia. With them were T&D Supervisors, Regional Planners, Transmission 6
Inspectors, Storekeepers, and Fleet Mechanics. Figure 34 provides a breakdown of the 7
field resources available daily during the restoration process. Administrative and 8
logistical resources were in place to monitor and support safety, environment, materials, 9
and food and lodging requirements. 10
11
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Figure 34: Daily Field Resource Utilization 1
2
3
The work schedule was established such that day shift crews worked 6:00 AM-10:00 PM 4
and night shift crews worked 6:00 PM-10:00 AM, as per the ESRP. This rolling shift 5
continued for all our field crews and personnel until the morning of Sunday, J uly 13. The 6
Resource Management Centre (RMC) and Distribution Control Centre (DCC) brought in 7
additional staff to ensure 24-hour coverage for event dispatch and to maintain system 8
connectivity throughout the restoration efforts. Critical communication links were 9
established (as per past practice and the ESRP) between the RMC and the field. 10
11
7.3 Distribution System Damage Overview 12
13
In the hardest hit areas, Post-Tropical Storm Arthur left streets blocked by fallen trees 14
and poles. Many spans of conductor were torn down as trees fell, sometimes with such 15
force that the trees and wire would be found tangled together on the ground. A typical 16
damage site consisted of large trees or groups of trees blown down by high winds, with 17
damage to multiple spans of primary conductor (Figure 35 A). The individual service 18
connections associated with these sites often had damaged service poles and guy wires, as 19
well as damage to the customers electrical entrance. The type of damage shown in 20
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Figures 35 A and B would take two line crews approximately a full day to repair. They 1
would be assisted by vegetation crews, traffic control and planners. 2
3
Figure 35: Typical Damage Site 4
5
A. Typical Damage Site B. Damaged Service Poles 6
7
Distribution system restoration was a 24-hour a day operation. Field personnel focused 8
on restoration during the day and additional crews worked throughout the night restoring 9
power and responding to emergency calls. Restoration planning occurred each night, 10
generating the restoration plan with the list of restoration priorities (outage events) to be 11
addressed by line crews the next day. The events were prioritized based on safely 12
restoring the maximum number of customers in the shortest possible time, as per the 13
restoration priorities detailed in Section 4.4. Nighttime planning continued for the 14
duration of the event, providing resources with event details and crew movement plans 15
for the following day. Crew travel times were considered when developing these plans. 16
17
Eighty percent of customers were restored in the first three days of restoration, Saturday 18
through Monday, J uly 7; 90 percent by noon on Wednesday, J uly 9 (Day 5), with all 19
customers who could accept power restored by Saturday, J uly 12 (Day 8). Some 20
customers had sustained damage to their own equipment most commonly the meter 21
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mast and needed to have a certified electrician repair the damage before we could 1
safely reconnect power. 2
3
7.4 Day-by-Day Detail of Restoring the Distribution System 4
5
In the following sections, the distribution storm response is detailed chronologically to 6
provide an overview of the restoration of Nova Scotia Powers electrical distribution 7
system. Representative photos have been included to illustrate the damage encountered 8
by our crews. 9
10
7.4.1 Day 1: Saturday, July 5 11
12
During the storm, wind speed and safe work conditions were constantly being evaluated 13
by Operations Managers, T&D Supervisors, and PLT crews. Several times throughout 14
the day, crews in Central and the West stood down as the storm made conditions unsafe 15
for storm response activities. 16
17
Wind gusts quickly began to exceed forecasted speeds. Distribution system damage 18
accelerated, with hundreds of outage events occurring and tens of thousands of customers 19
off by early afternoon. 20
21
Nova Scotia Powers storm response in Day 1 was significantly impacted by weather 22
conditions. Over 100 road closures were logged between Nova Scotia Power and the 23
Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR). Road 24
closures typically consisted of large trees and sometimes spans of trees, wires, and 25
distribution infrastructure down across the roadway blocking traffic. 26
27
Our crews worked 16-hour shifts throughout the storm, responding to emergency events 28
and clearing paths through fallen trees to allow restoration to proceed. The temporary 29
disruption of some internal systems on Saturday afternoon, as discussed in Section 30
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10.5.4, did not hinder or delay field response. Field crews worked under the direction of 1
their local supervisors on the prioritized events. 2
3
While the storm was still active across the province, crews were restoring power. By 4
noon, nine more crews (18 PLTs) were en route from New Brunswick, at the request of 5
the EOC. Due to the prolonged high winds, many restored feeder sections would trip off 6
again as new damage continued to occur into Saturday night. Progress during the active 7
storm was difficult. Priority was given to emergency and 911 calls (emergency calls 8
into the Distribution Control Centre). As the first day shift finished, Post-Tropical Storm 9
Arthur was beginning to move out of Nova Scotia. 10
11
Large volumes of 911 calls began to come in early in the day on Saturday and 12
continued throughout the storm. By early evening, our night crews provided regional 13
coverage across Nova Scotia. These crews continued to respond to the most critical 14
events including wires down, poles blocking critical roadways, and critical customer 15
restoration including hospitals, medical centres, etc. On Saturday, we restored service to 16
46,441 customers. 17
18
7.4.2 Day 2: Sunday, July 6 19
20
Early in the day on Sunday, the decision was made by the EOC to establish a three-node 21
response in the Western territory and deploy additional senior leadership, due to the 22
extent of the damage and the number of outage events. Management centres were 23
created in Yarmouth, Coldbrook, and Bridgewater. This decision allowed management 24
in those three areas to focus in on their unique situations and maximize the resources in 25
the area. 26
27
From the beginning of Day 2, all distribution PLTs and supporting employees were 28
focused on the execution of the plan that had been developed overnight and deployed at 29
6:00 AM, with a primary focus on restoring power to the largest customer count events. 30
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Figure 36: Damage Assessment - Day 2 1
2
3
Very early in Day 2, Damage Assessors and field personnel began to see the significance 4
of the damage that had occurred on J uly 5. Travel routes had been considerably affected 5
by the trees, damaged poles, and lines in the roadways. Often crews had to take detours, 6
or take the time to remove debris from the roadways, before they could continue to an 7
outage. Hundreds of trees and tree limbs had fallen, damaging poles, wires, transformers 8
and guys/anchors, as well as damaging interconnected telecommunications infrastructure. 9
10
At the same time, Logistics teams were providing meals, essentials and accommodations, 11
as required. The pre-planning efforts of the Logistics teams meant accessing these 12
necessities did not slow restoration efforts. Crews were provided breakfast in or close to 13
their accommodations, and bag meals were delivered on site to maximize their working 14
hours and reduce travel and down time. 15
16
Progress was made throughout the day, with numerous feeder outages restored and roads 17
cleared. Full nighttime coverage continued into Night 2. On Sunday, we restored service 18
to 38,775 customers. 19
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7.4.3 Day 3: Monday, July 7 1
2
On Monday, J uly 7, crews moved east to west across the province as restoration in the 3
East and Central territories was 90 percent complete. In particular, six crews moved from 4
the Central territory and nine crews from the Eastern territory into the Western operating 5
area. 6
7
Distribution restoration was focused on the prioritized restoration plan. On Monday, we 8
restored service to 23,541 customers. Crews continued to deal with extensive damage in 9
the field, but most roads were either partially or completely open for traffic. 10
11
Figure 37: Extensive Damage 12
13
14
As transmission damage repair was completed, transmission crews switched from off- 15
road equipment to on-road distribution trucks and began to assist the distribution 16
restoration effort. 17
18
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7.4.4 Day 4: Tuesday, July 8 1
2
The Overnight Planning Team recommended eight crews move from the Central territory 3
to West. This plan was initiated Tuesday morning. Crews were moved in a planned 4
manner to minimize total travel. 5
6
Damage assessment data confirmed many fallen trees and damaged infrastructure 7
requiring repair in order to restore these single customer events. To facilitate restoration 8
of customers with service damage, the Small Service Inspection protocol was 9
implemented, enabling specially trained PLTs to assist certified electricians in 10
completing service inspections to facilitate customer electrical reconnections. 11
12
By end of day Tuesday, we had restored all feeder outages, and 15,418 customers 13
remained without power. 14
15
7.4.5 Day 5: Wednesday, July 9 16
17
The Overnight Planning Team recommended five crews move from Central to West and 18
nine crews move from East to West. This plan was initiated Wednesday morning. In 19
addition, nine crews arrived from Emera Maine and were dispatched to the Western 20
region. These crews began restoring power safely within hours of entering the province. 21
This was the first day these crews were available as Maine was also impacted by Arthur. 22
23
The work conducted on Day 5 was primarily focused on events impacting fewer than 100 24
customers. By end of the day, there were 6,278 customers without power, and all of the 25
outages in the Eastern region were restored. 26
27
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Figure 38: Damage Assessment - Day 5 1
2
3
7.4.6 Day 6: Thursday, July 10 4
5
The Overnight Planning Team made final crew movement recommendations, shifting six 6
Central crews and one Eastern crew into the Western region. 7
8
Throughout the day, crews were working a plan designed for the most effective 9
restoration of remaining single customer outages. 10
11
By end of Day 6, we had restored power to 3,585 customers, including the last of the 12
outages in the Central territory. A total of 2,693 customers remained without power. 13
14
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Figure 39: Damage Assessment - Day 6 1
2
3
7.4.7 Day 7: Friday, J uly 11 4
5
On Friday, all resources were focused on the remaining 841 active outage events. By the 6
end of the day, 660 customers remained without power. The Small Service Inspection 7
process allowed customers to have service inspections completed throughout the day. 8
9
Figure 40: Damage Assessment - Day 7 10
11
12
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7.4.8 Day 8: Saturday, July 12 1
2
On Saturday, we completed restoration of all the original distribution outages, with the 3
exception of customers who had damage to personal equipment requiring repair before 4
we could safely reconnect power. 5
6
Figure 41 displays the peak number of customers out and the total number of customers 7
out at the end of each day for the remainder of the restoration. This figure illustrates the 8
effect of prioritizing events with higher customer counts early in the restoration. 9
10
Figure 41: End-of-Day Customer Interruptions 11
12
13
The number of outages that were restored on each day is depicted in Figure 42. 14
15
0
20,000
40,000
60,000
80,000
100,000
120,000
140,000
Peak Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8
C
u
s
t
o
m
e
r

I
n
t
e
r
r
u
p
t
i
o
n
s
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur
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Figure 42: Outage Events Restored per Day 1
2
3
Figure 43: Damage Assessment - Day 8 4
5
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8
O
u
t
a
g
e

E
v
e
n
t
s

R
e
s
t
o
r
e
d
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7.5 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 1
2
1. During restoration after Arthur, there were instances where tree crews were 3
dispatched to clear roads that were already clear. We will seek to work with the 4
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to develop definitions 5
of different levels of road closures, appropriate response protocols, and timely 6
sharing of information. This protocol could be managed via Emergency 7
Management Offices. 8
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8.0 RESTORING POWER: VEGETATION MANAGEMENT 1
2
8.1 Introduction 3
4
This section describes tree damage caused by Arthur and the role Vegetation 5
Management crews played in restoring power to our customers. The storm caused the 6
most damage in Western Nova Scotia, so details of vegetation management practices in 7
that region are also provided. A more complete accounting of Nova Scotia Powers 8
Integrated Vegetation Management Program is provided in Section 9. 9
10
8.2 Tree Damage to the Electricity System 11
12
More than 90 percent of the power outages caused by Post-Tropical Storm Arthur were 13
due to trees (please refer to Figure 45). While broken tree branches account for a 14
percentage of this total, the majority of the outages were caused by trees falling onto the 15
distribution system from outside the right-of-way. Investigations are pending, but most 16
of these trees have not shown any sign of poor health or decay. Often, trees falling into 17
power lines during storms account for over 80 percent of outages; the higher percentage 18
of outages caused by tree limbs and branches during Arthur is considered to be attributed 19
to the high number of large ornamental trees found on the roadsides. 20
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Figure 44: Broken Healthy Tree Limbs 1
2
A. Healthy Tree limb broken from stem B. Healthy tree stem broken at six feet. 3
4
Figure 45: Total Outage Cause (CEA) by Percentage Post-Tropical Storm Arthur 5
Code
CEA Cause Code
Events %
0 Unknown 107 2.6
1
Scheduled Outage 10 0.2
2
Loss of Supply 2 0.0
3
Tree Contacts 3,325 81.7

Falling Tree (75%)

Broken Branch (7%)

Branch Contact (19%)
4
Lightning 7 0.2
5
Damaged Equipment 146 3.6
6
Adverse Weather* 381 9.4
7
Adverse Environment 1 0.0
8
Human Element 2 0.0
9
Foreign Interference 91 2.2
Total 4,072 100.0
NOTE 1: The Scheduled Outage coding refers to planned outages in order to briefly de-energize a distribution feeder 6
to tie it into another feeder, and the re-energize both feeders together. 7
NOTE 2: The Adverse Weather coding refers to weather causing trees to make contact with power infrastructure. 8
9
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8.2.1 Tree Crew Response to Post-Tropical Storm Arthur 1
2
The priority for tree crews during storm response is to support Power Line Technicians. 3
This includes removing trees lying on power lines that are still up, as well as trees that 4
have broken poles and wires causing power lines to fall to the ground. 5
6
Due to the fact that Arthur didnt behave as predicted by weather forecasts, some tree 7
crews were initially staged in areas of the province where the storm proved to have less 8
impact. We were able to efficiently redeploy those crews to support outage restoration. 9
10
Nova Scotia Power has long-term contracts with two vegetation management suppliers: 11
Lucas Tree Experts and Asplundh Tree Service. Both of these companies, along with 12
two subcontractors Atlantic Arborists (Valley) and GPF Contracting (New Glasgow), 13
provided the vegetation management response to Post-Tropical Storm Arthur. Twenty- 14
nine tree trimming crews with bucket-trucks were dispatched to various areas across the 15
province on J uly 4 to pre-stage in support of restoration efforts. Crews were staged 16
together in groups of three or four crews at various locations between Yarmouth and 17
Sydney. 18
19
As the specific outage locations were identified, crews were mobilized to support harder- 20
hit areas. On J uly 7, crews staged in the eastern end of the province were moved to the 21
Annapolis Valley. On J uly 10, crews staged in the northeastern area of the province were 22
transferred to the South Shore, and by J uly 11, 90 percent of all crews were active in the 23
western part of the province until J uly 14. After this date, four Vegetation Management 24
crews were released to support NB Power, while all remaining crews continued to work 25
on clean-up activities. 26
27
Approximately 300 calls per day to the Vegetation Management team were received on 28
J uly 5 and 6, and subsequent to that, approximately 100 calls per day were received up to 29
J uly 12. All work associated with services to homes was scoped ahead of the tree crew 30
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being dispatched to ensure adequate use of the resource. Local tree crews were still 1
engaged in storm associated work until J uly 25. 2
3
8.3 Distribution System Vegetation Management in Western Nova Scotia 4
5
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur caused the most damage in Western Nova Scotia. Over the 6
past 10 years, vegetation management spending along distribution lines in Western Nova 7
Scotia (the area West of Route 14) has been in excess of $1.5 million per year. 8
9
8.3.1 Annapolis Valley 10
11
Feeder management throughout a large percentage of the Annapolis Valley has been 12
primarily restricted to aerial trimming, due to the suburban setting of most lines. There is 13
often only a narrow space within the right-of-way available for all the treatment options 14
such as ground clearing, mowing, herbicide application or widening, given the 15
landscaped use of the adjacent property. Trees in conflict with the lines are, for the most 16
part, considered ornamental and therefore few are removed. Customers are consulted on 17
a span by span basis on planned tree work. Requests to remove a tree are only made in 18
the case of a tree being identified as a threat to falling onto the feeder lines. 19
20
Although trimming is often the only management treatment option, even that work is 21
compromised in favour of protecting the tree. Due to the size and nature of the roadside 22
trees throughout the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia Power is also challenged with 23
obtaining desired clearances from the limbs in close proximity to the power lines without 24
destroying the tree. Establishing a cleared three metre circumference around the power 25
line from a large ornamental tree such as American Elm, sometimes results in full 26
removal of the tree due to the extent of branch and stem cutting. 27
28
In the 1990s, Nova Scotia Power led a jointly funded program for the removal of dead or 29
dying large American Elm trees throughout the Annapolis Valley affected by Dutch Elm 30
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Disease. Other funding agencies included municipalities, the provincial transportation 1
department, and Aliant. Over $100,000 annually was directed to removing these large 2
trees. When these huge trees failed, they posed a serious threat to persons and property. 3
The program ceased to exist around 2003, as the number of diseased trees decreased. 4
Nova Scotia Power continues to direct approximately $50,000 per year to the Annapolis 5
Valley, without joint funding, for the removal of large hazard trees. This has resulted in 6
many threats to the system being removed in a timely manner after identification. 7
8
8.3.2 South Shore/South West Nova Scotia 9
10
Feeder management in the South and South West Nova Scotia has been extensive, as 11
every aspect of Integrated Vegetation Management has been implemented for both 12
reliability improvement and sustaining rights-of-way. Rights-of-way have been re- 13
established through ground clearing and herbicide application in some areas. Widening 14
projects have been undertaken in the less populated areas of Shelburne, Yarmouth and 15
Annapolis counties. 16
17
8.4 Transmission System Vegetation Management in Western Nova Scotia 18
19
There are approximately 1,260 kilometres of transmission line in the western part of 20
Nova Scotia. Of this, approximately 711 kilometres (56 percent) are 69 kV lines that 21
feed smaller townships and industry. Over 60 percent of the western 69 kV system is 22
between Yarmouth and Windsor on the Annapolis Valley side of the province. Due to 23
the fact that most 69 kV rights-of-way are restricted by easements of 20 metres, we have 24
placed focus on transmission right-of-way widening and danger tree removal in these 25
areas. This work requires Nova Scotia Power to liaise with adjacent property owners to 26
either exercise rights for tree removal as an aspect of the easement, or to request 27
permission in such cases when the easement does not provide for such rights. 28
29
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Provincially over 100 kilometres of right-of-way has been widened since 2009 on all 1
voltages. Of this total, 27.2 kilometres, or 10 percent of the total kilometers of 69 kV 2
Annapolis Valley area transmission was widened between 2011 and 2014. 3
4
There are also two 230 kV transmission lines in the western area of the province 5
governed by North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirements, 6
being voltages greater than 200 kV. These corridors have also been widened in specific 7
areas of concern and are inspected frequently against strict clearance criteria to ensure 8
critical reliability. 9
10
8.5 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 11
12
1. To improve reliability in major storms it is essential to establish clear rights-of- 13
way on power lines. NS Power requires a greater public support for obtaining 14
desired clearances from power lines. 15
16
Greater public support should allow increased trim clearances to 17
attain a less-frequent maintenance cycle and an increased 18
probability of capturing branches that are prone to failure during 19
major storm events. 20
21
Greater public support should allow Nova Scotia Power to increase 22
expenditures for vegetation management within the right-of-way 23
asset renewal program and increase the amount of hazard tree 24
removal projects to ensure that: all rights-of-way are re-established 25
to a desired width within a fixed time frame; and hazard trees 26
associated with those rights-of-way can be mitigated. 27
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9.0 NS POWERS INTEGRATED VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 1
2
9.1 Introduction 3
4
This section describes in detail our vegetation management program, including annual 5
expenditures in various program initiatives. It also discusses the challenges faced in 6
balancing vegetation management priorities against public desire to maintain trees in 7
proximity to power lines. Recommendations to promote reliability are provided. 8
9
9.2 Integrated Vegetation Management Program Overview 10
11
Nova Scotia Power has implemented an integrated vegetation management (IVM) 12
program to improve service reliability by creating sustainable rights-of-way along all 13
distribution and transmission lines. IVM is considered an industry best practice standard 14
(ANSI 300 Part 7)
2
for controlling the growth of incompatible vegetation that poses a 15
risk to the safe and reliable operation of power lines. IVM treatments such as mechanical 16
mowing and herbicide application, while normally associated with transmission corridors 17
for controlling regrowth from within the right-of-way, are also implemented on 18
distribution rights-of-way in areas of low customer density. In addition to controlling 19
incompatible vegetation within transmission and distribution right-of-way, Nova Scotia 20
Power has a program to expand the cleared width of the right-of-ways and manage off 21
right-of-way hazard trees through tree removal and topping. 22
23
Since 2007, under the current vegetation management strategy, the number of outages as 24
well as the duration of those outages, caused by trees, has declined. Please refer to 25


2
Please refer to http://tcia.org/business/ansi-a300-standards/part-7
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Appendix 9.01. In 2012, Nova Scotia Power recorded the best-ever reliability related to 1
outages caused by trees. 2
3
9.2.1 Annual Vegetation Management Investments 4
5
Please refer to Figure 46 for Nova Scotia Powers annual investments in vegetation 6
management from 2004 to 2013. 7
8
Figure 46: Total Spend for Vegetation Management (2004 2013) 9
10
11
9.2.2 Evolution of the Integrated Vegetation Management Program 12
13
Nova Scotia Power roadside distribution rights-of-way constructed prior to 2003 lack 14
easement rights beyond a narrow section of the provincially-owned road right-of-way. In 15
2000, Nova Scotia Power attempted to coordinate IVM efforts for managing the full 16
right-of-way width with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. 17
-
2.00
4.00
6.00
8.00
10.00
12.00
14.00
16.00
18.00
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
I
n
v
e
s
t
m
e
n
t

(
$
M
)
Annual Vegetation Management Investments
Storm Response
Regional
Capital
ROW Widening
Veg Mgmt
Transmission
Veg Mgmt
Distribution
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While pilot projects were explored at the regional level over the course of a couple of 1
years, a cooperative program was never developed, due to the fact that often interests and 2
timelines for specific project areas differed. 3
4
In 2003, Nova Scotia Power implemented a new engineering standard for establishing 5
power line distribution rights-of-way, essentially doubling the width. A typical right-of- 6
way established prior to 2003 was cleared to approximately 3 metres on each side of the 7
centre of the road. The new standard required rights-of-way associated with primary 8
power lines be established 6.1 metres each side of centre. There were a number of years 9
when this standard was considered excessive by both the general public and 10
municipalities. For example, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) requested that the 11
Utility and Review Board (UARB) consider adjusting the width and as such, Nova Scotia 12
Power was mandated to reduce the width to 4.6 metres from centre in the HRM core area. 13
Beyond that restriction, all new rights-of-way constructed are expected to adhere to the 14
standard. 15
16
In 2005, Nova Scotia Power extended the herbicide application program, normally 17
associated with managing transmission rights-of-way, to include roadside distribution 18
rights-of-way. Through the chemical treatment of hardwood vegetation, which has the 19
ability to re-sprout after cutting, the tree stem density is dramatically reduced thereby 20
further reducing future management. 21
22
Wider rights-of-way and the implementation of various control treatments for managing 23
re-growth combine to create sustainable rights-of-way. On such rights-of-way, there are 24
fewer trees, and given the amount of compatible vegetation, trees are not as likely to re- 25
establish and grow back into the system as quickly. Adjacent trees are far enough away 26
that branch contact is also dramatically reduced. The increased width also reduces the 27
probability that an off right-of-way tree, upon failure, will make contact with the power 28
line. 29
30
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9.2.3 Current Program Application 1
2
Nova Scotia Power implements an integrated vegetation management program on all 3
power line rights-of-way and spends approximately $10.4 million annually on a balanced 4
approach for improving reliability and lowering overall tree management costs to 5
customers. 6
7
9.3 Distribution 8
9
Total distribution program expenditures have averaged approximately $7.2 million 10
annually over the last five years. Activities within the scope of the distribution right-of- 11
way management program are carried out through a blend of reactive and predictive 12
management approaches. At the outset of the reactive program in 2009, we were 13
spending over $1 million per year on the worst performing distribution feeders. Over the 14
same period, we invested approximately $4 million annually on preventative maintenance 15
and sustainability projects. Since 2012, reactive spending has been reduced below 16
$500,000 per year, thanks to the improved reliability performance produced by 17
sustainable preventative maintenance (please refer to Appendix 9.02). The total number 18
of spans completed in each program is listed in Figure 47. On average, over 1,100 19
kilometres is managed on an annual basis. 20
21
Figure 47: Total Number of Spans Completed by Program Type 22
Span Totals By Year
Program
Description 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Grand Total
Asset Protection 179 8,479 4,849 4,259 5,840 23,606
Asset Renewal 7,308 7,878 5,440 8,006 4,150 32,782
Cross Country 348 188 251 704 1,491
Hazard Trees 1,230 2,665 195 4,090
Reactive 3,379 5,253 2,394 1,583 12,609
Sustainability 9,301 2,986 4,734 3,965 3,398 24,385
Grand Total 16,788 24,300 23,129 18,876 15,870 98,963
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9.3.1 Reactive Management Approach 1
2
The Reactive Management approach is a response to poor distribution feeder 3
performance or a specific customer request. With respect to feeder performance, Nova 4
Scotia Power analyzes reliability data to determine the worst performing feeders. These 5
feeders are then reviewed in the field to verify the extent of the tree conflict. Work is 6
planned on a priority basis to address those areas of the feeders where trimming and 7
cutting will provide the best contribution to improved reliability. 8
9
Reactive work by nature is generally more expensive than preventative work due to the 10
smaller volume of management required at each feeder location/section, and translates 11
into fewer spans of completed work. Control treatment for reactive work includes both 12
tree trimming and ground clearing, and often involves the removal of off right-of-way 13
trees that pose a threat from adjacent properties. Expenditure on reactive projects was 14
$300,000 in 2013; expenditures in this area have been decreasing in recent years due to 15
improved feeder performance levels. 16
17
Also considered reactive work is Nova Scotia Powers response to customer requested 18
work. We respond to all requests for tree trimming where customers have determined a 19
personal concern. Expenditure for customer requested work averages approximately $1 20
million annually. 21
22
9.3.2 Preventative Management Approach 23
24
Expenditure on preventative projects averages approximately $5.4 million annually. The 25
weighting of expenditures in favour of preventative work allows for a greater portion of 26
the system to be addressed in a given year due to the unit-based pricing system. 27
Preventative work activities within the plan are scheduled for full feeder sections and are 28
grouped into the following categories: Asset Renewal, Asset Protection, Urban 29
Management, Sustainability, and Hazard Trees. 30
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Asset Renewal 1
2
Rights-of-way under this category are managed for sustainability due to the fact there is 3
ample space in the road right-of-way between the power line and the adjacent forested 4
edge to control vegetation growth beneath the power line, as opposed to being restricted 5
to trimming adjacent tree growth (please refer to Figure 48). This space, or the right-of- 6
way floor, is wide enough to be considered for re-establishment and eligible for IVM 7
treatments, including herbicide application. The entire right-of-way is cleared of tree 8
growth and adjacent branches are trimmed or trees are topped to achieve long-term 9
control of all growth. Asset Renewal projects normally cover full sections of feeder 10
lines, which translate into kilometres of completed work. Control treatment options 11
include mowing, manual cutting and chipping, herbicide application (cut stump and 12
foliar), and trimming. Expenditures for asset renewal projects were approximately $1.3 13
million in 2013. 14
15
Figure 48: Asset Renewal 16
17
A. Overgrown right of way B. Re-established Right-of-way 18
19
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Asset Protection 1
2
Feeder lines managed under this program are defined by the lack of space within the 3
roadside right-of-way and, as such, are considered for aerial trimming and limited 4
ground-clearing (please refer to Figure 49). In such cases, the power lines have either 5
been constructed at the far edge of the roadside easement restricting right-of-way space, 6
or there is conflicting land use such as landscaped yards and ornamental trees. Very few 7
trees are removed under this management option and obtaining desired safe clearances 8
around the primary power line is the main objective. Expenditures for asset protection 9
were approximately $1.1 million in 2013. 10
11
Figure 49: Asset Protection 12
13
A. Trees considered ornamental by B. Vegetation Management restricted to tree trimming 14
adjacent landowners 15
16
Urban Management 17
18
Similar to projects under Asset Protection, Urban Management projects are defined by 19
the lack of space for power line infrastructure, and the management of that space is 20
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compounded by conflicting interests; mainly the desire to have ornamental street trees 1
(please refer to Figure 50). Projects are normally carried out in coordination with other 2
agencies or municipalities to ensure the interest of all parties concerned are addressed. 3
Desired clearances from trees in such cases are sometimes compromised by conflicting 4
interests and therefore other engineering solutions are sought. One such solution is the 5
use of covered cable technology that can withstand branch contact, thereby preventing an 6
outage. While it is appropriate for some situations, covered cable does not preclude the 7
requirement for safe clearances to be established around the line, and therefore its use is 8
limited. Expenditures for Urban Management were approximately $1 million in 2013. 9
10
Figure 50: Urban Management 11
12
A. Urban Landscape Planted Street Trees B. Minimal Clearances Established 13
14
Sustainability 15
16
Feeder lines managed under this program have a well-established roadside right-of-way, 17
or it has been recently re-established through the asset renewal program (please refer to 18
Figure 51). The objective of the sustainability program is to achieve the lowest long-term 19
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cost of management. Control treatment options include: manual cutting, herbicide 1
application and mechanical mowing. Expenditures for sustainability were approximately 2
$700,000 in 2013. 3
4
Figure 51: Sustainability 5
6
A. Right of Way of Incompatible vegetation B. Right of way of Compatible Vegetation 7
8
Hazard Tree Management 9
10
The Hazard Tree program is implemented on feeder lines that have well-managed rights- 11
of-way, but are threatened by off right-of-way trees (please refer to Figure 52). This 12
work provides a level of storm hardening. Off right-of-way trees are identified for 13
topping or removal to prevent them from either breaking off or falling into the power 14
lines. While in some instances hazard tree removal is a separate program from right-of- 15
way management, the activity is often also an integral part of Asset Renewal. 16
17
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Figure 52: Hazard Trees 1
2
A. Off right-of-way Hazard Trees B. Topping of Off Right-of-Way Hazard Trees 3
4
Hazard trees are identified by their state of health or exposure to winds. A common 5
focus of this program is the thin buffer of trees that is left along a forest harvest adjacent 6
to a power line right-of-way. Trees in such buffers are susceptible to blow-down even 7
under normal wind conditions. For approximately 10 years, the Hazard Tree program 8
funded the removal of hundreds of large American Elm trees throughout the Annapolis 9
Valley and other towns and communities where Dutch Elm Disease made the trees more 10
susceptible to failure. The limbs of elm trees are essentially the size of mature trees and 11
cause extensive damage to infrastructure when they fail. Expenditures for hazard tree 12
cutting and trimming, was approximately $600,000 in 2013. 13
14
9.4 Transmission 15
16
Total transmission program expenditures averaged approximately $3.2 million annually 17
over the last 5 years (please refer to Figure 46). Project activities within the scope of the 18
transmission vegetation management program are identified through a predictive 19
approach. Through the use of detailed inventories, management areas along the length of 20
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the right-of-way are identified and integrated vegetation control treatments are based on 1
that vegetative condition. A computerized growth and treatment response model is then 2
used to forecast future conditions and hence future treatment recommendations. 3
Sensitive ecology, such as land associated with water, and property owner restrictions are 4
the only detriments to the objective for sustainability. Manual cutting and mechanical 5
mowing operations must be completed on a cyclical basis, whereas selective herbicide 6
application can lower the management frequency through sustainability, or the 7
development of more stable compatible plant communities. All transmission rights-of- 8
way are managed to ensure no trees grow within close proximity to the conductors 9
through the application of IVM. 10
11
9.5 Storm Hardening (Widening Rights-of-way) 12
13
Total expenditures associated with widening transmission and distribution rights-of-way 14
are an aspect of the capital program and averages approximately $1 million annually. 15
16
9.5.1 Distribution 17
18
Feeders are identified on an annual basis for widening opportunities. Widening is not 19
typically considered in areas where extensive tree removal might negatively impact 20
adjacent land use and therefore is restricted to very rural or remote settings of low 21
customer density (please refer to Figure 53). In these circumstances, the impact to 22
residential property is minimal, and therefore generally accepted by customers. As 23
reliability statistics are affected by customer density, and as historical vegetation 24
management programs tended to focus on reliability improvement, feeders in more 25
remote areas of the province would typically receive less funding. In such cases, rights- 26
of-way are widened to the standard right-of-way width of 6.1 metres each side of centre. 27
The standard right-of-way width is considered the best option for improving reliability 28
performance in the long term by preventing branch contacts and reducing the likelihood 29
that a falling tree will strike the power line. Remote widening projects are often 30
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implemented through the use of forest harvesting equipment along a determined length of 1
right-of-way. Annual expenditures for right-of-way widening on distribution averages 2
approximately $500,000 annually. 3
4
Figure 53: Distribution Right-of-Way Widening 5
6
A. Narrow right of way associated with road B. Right-of-way widened to 20 standard 7
8
9.5.2 Transmission 9
10
Widening on transmission lines is implemented based upon the identification of off right- 11
of-way trees that are deemed to pose a threat to the power line. These trees are most 12
often identified by line inspectors on foot patrol of the line, or by aerial reconnaissance. 13
Widening entails the removal of all trees within a specified expanded width that captures 14
both the hazard trees and healthy trees. The selective removal of some of the trees can 15
lead to the failure of other trees simply by leaving them exposed. The expanded width 16
removes all real and potential threats as the zone is fully cleared. Projects are carried out 17
in a similar fashion as distribution projects as they are linear; however, transmission 18
widening locations tend to be more sporadic due to the focus on hazard trees rather than 19
forested edge. Often, the areas removed are associated with a thin buffer of trees left 20
after an adjacent woodland harvest. These trees are susceptible to blow-down even under 21
normal wind conditions. Annual expenditure for right-of-way widening on transmission 22
averages approximately $500,000 annually. 23
24
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Figure 54: Transmission Right-of-Way Widening 1
2
A. Widening of right-of-way edge (aerial view) B. Widening of the right-of-way (ground view) 3
4
9.6 Challenges 5
6
While Nova Scotia Power manages a comprehensive integrated vegetation management 7
program on both transmission and distribution, we recognize that not all available 8
treatment options are considered acceptable by all customers. Mechanical operations and 9
herbicide application programs are often regarded negatively by individual property 10
owner, local residents associations, or local government officials. We must work with 11
property owners to find mutually agreeable solutions. 12
13
9.6.1 Acceptance of Tree Trimming Clearance Standard 14
15
The clearance standard for clearing branches from being in close proximity to distribution 16
feeder lines is 3 metres. This standard is often not met in situations that involve 17
ornamental trees and in cottage areas. In the case of trees on municipal streets, standard 18
clearances are often not achieved due to the fact that many trees would have to be 19
completely removed to accommodate the clearances, given the amount of mature growth 20
in close proximity to the line. 21
22
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With individual property owners, Nova Scotia Power promotes a right tree in the right 1
place program, offering compatible plants in exchange for the tree to be removed. This 2
program has been successful in many areas. 3
4
In cottage areas there have been mixed outcomes with respect to line clearing. In some 5
cases, residents associations welcome the clearing, as the potential for a forest fire is 6
considered a larger threat. However, in other cases, cottage owners value their privacy 7
and want as little clearing as deemed absolutely necessary. 8
9
In most municipalities and communities, the compromise between sustaining a healthy 10
urban forest and maintaining power line clearances has been very challenging. 11
Particularly in Halifax Regional Municipality, incompatible trees continue to be planted 12
directly under or very near power lines. 13
14
9.6.2 Off Right-of-Way Tree Removal/Widening 15
16
Most often when trees are removed from off right-of-way, they have been deemed a 17
threat based on the fact that they are unhealthy or prone to falling down. Trees of these 18
characteristics are normally permitted for removal. However, it is often very difficult to 19
acquire wider rights-of-way to mitigate the fall-in threat of many trees, or to top or 20
remove healthy trees. Many property owners do not want to yield any greater portion of 21
their land to accommodate utility service. 22
23
Although there is no provision for removing off right-of-way trees on distribution feeder 24
lines, on transmission rights-of-way, easements exist that allow for such. For some no 25
restriction is mentioned and more commonly, it is restricted to 5.2 metres. 26
27
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9.6.3 Rural Roadside Vegetation Management by TIR 1
2
As most distribution power lines are constructed within highway easements, incompatible 3
vegetation growing there is managed by Nova Scotia Power to prevent trees from 4
growing up into power lines. Even though the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation 5
and Infrastructure Renewal may brush mow the shoulder and the ditch, management of 6
the space under the power lines happens by exception. Given that Nova Scotia Power 7
often implements vegetation control of the full road right-of-way, including the shoulder 8
and the ditch, a more cooperative scheduling effort would assist Nova Scotia Power in 9
concentrating on that space most affecting the power line. 10
11
9.6.4 Woodland Harvesting Adjacent to Power Lines 12
13
It is not clear precisely how many woodland harvesting operations take place adjacent to 14
power lines. It is, however, a common occurrence. Not knowing the locations of such 15
operations places the electrical system at risk. Mature trees that have not been exposed to 16
open conditions before are often very likely to blow down into the power lines, causing 17
outages and structural damage impeding restoration efforts. 18
19
9.6.5 69 kV Transmission and Cross Country Distribution Easements 20
21
The 69 kV transmission system throughout the province is constructed on 20 metre wide 22
rights-of-way. The 69 kV system is often used to feed electricity to rural centres and 23
industry. When these lines are constructed through the forest, trees along the edge, which 24
are often in excess of 20 metres tall, all have some susceptibility of falling onto the power 25
lines. The only way to ensure that there is limited risk of such would be to double the 26
width of the right-of-way and construct the line on a single pole structure. 27
28
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Many cross-country distribution lines are constructed on rights-of-way that are only 3 1
metres wide each side of centre. This is not wide enough to keep tree branches from 2
growing into the lines, or to prevent trees from falling onto lines during a storm. 3
4
9.6.6 Response to Tree-On-Line Calls During a Storm 5
6
During a storm, many customers call Nova Scotia Power to report a tree on a line. Crews 7
are dispatched and, in some cases, find a tree on another utility wire other than Nova 8
Scotia Power-owned power line. Customers have no way of knowing who owns which 9
lines and often become very frustrated at the fact that Nova Scotia Power crews do not 10
remove all trees. Face-to-face communication is often required to inform customers that 11
there are different owners of wires on the system. 12
13
9.7 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 14
15
1. To improve reliability in major storms it is essential to establish clear rights-of- 16
way on power lines. NS Power requires greater public support for obtaining 17
desired clearances from power lines. 18
19
We seek support from the Board, the Department of Transportation and 20
Infrastructure Renewal, and other stakeholders for the creation and 21
maintenance of tree-free rights-of-way, as set out in ANSI Standard A300, 22
the generally accepted industry standard. 23
24
We urge the appropriate government authorities to prohibit the planting of 25
trees that are in conflict with power lines. 26
27
We will seek permission to have prescriptive rights to remove hazard trees 28
threatening power lines, as identified by qualified, trained vegetation 29
management experts. 30
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We will work with woodland harvest operators and the Nova Scotia 1
Department of Natural Resources to establish a process that would require 2
forest harvests being conducted adjacent to power lines to be reported to a 3
registry. This would ensure we are made aware of newly created hazard 4
trees. 5
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10.0 COMMUNICATING WITH OUR CUSTOMERS 1
2
10.1 Introduction 3
4
This section discusses our communications with our customers during our response to 5
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur. It provides detail on our planning and staffing preparations, 6
and describes outreach done to assist our critical care customers. It identifies areas where 7
we had technology issues and other challenges, which frustrated customers, and 8
recommends actions for improvement. 9
10
10.2 Customer Communications Planning and Staffing for Arthur 11
12
Nova Scotia Power followed the Customer Communications ESRP sub-plan during Post- 13
Tropical Storm Arthur. Two Customer Coordinator Leads were in place in the EOC, two 14
Customer Contact Centre Leads were on-site at the Customer Care Centre, and two 15
Communication Leads were on site at the EOC. These positions were staffed 24 hours a 16
day for the entire time the restoration event was a declared Level 3 event. 17
18
Nova Scotia Powers customer communications plan during major events such as Arthur 19
is focused on meeting customer expectations by delivering the best information possible 20
through the event. The information is focused on answering three priority customer 21
questions: 22
23
(1) Does Nova Scotia Power know my power is off? 24
(2) When will my power be restored? 25
(3) What caused my power to go out? 26
27
Every utility faces the challenge of meeting these expectations, but it is especially 28
difficult in the face of large volumes of outages in short periods of time. 29
30
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Our Customer Care Centre began planning on Wednesday, J uly 2, completing all staffing 1
logistics and advanced training. Additional trained volunteers were added to the staffing 2
complement and a plan was put into place to keep the centre open 24 hours a day. Figure 3
55 shows the number of Customer Service Representatives who were on-line each four- 4
hour period of the event. 5
6
Figure 55: Customer Service Representative Staffing Levels July 5-12 2014 7
8
9
10.3 Record High Customer Interactions 10
11
Nova Scotia Power experienced record customer call volumes, website hits, and social 12
media interaction during Post-Tropical Storm Arthur and the restoration work that took 13
place over the days that followed. 14
15
In the wake of Arthur, we received more calls from our customers than ever before. Over 16
the eight days of the storm restoration, we received 425,123 calls, as compared to the 17
418,664 calls we received over the 14-day restoration following Hurricane J uan in 2003. 18
More than half of the Arthur calls came on the day of the storm itself 216,669, as 19
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compared to the 122,575 calls received on Day 1 of J uan. During the Arthur restoration, 1
our Customer Service Representatives worked around the clock and had 38,702 one-on- 2
one conversations with customers, compared to 48,328 following Hurricane J uan. On 3
J uly 5, customers reported more than 23,600 outages, received in excess of 106,100 4
updates on power outages, and reported over 3,350 wires down or emergency situations. 5
6
Figure 56 details the call volumes for each day and compares Arthurs totals to Hurricane 7
J uan and the November 2004 ice storm. 8
9
Figure 56: Daily Call Volumes 10
11
12
Figure 57 details the hourly call volumes to Nova Scotia Powers outage line for 13
Saturday, J uly 5. During peak hours over 300 calls per minute were being taken by the 14
HVCA system with customers either reporting an outage or receiving outage information. 15
16
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Figure 57: HVCA Hourly Call Volumes 1
2
3
All callers reaching our outage line were able to either report an outage or receive outage 4
information. A number of situations were reported where customers could not get a dial 5
tone or complete their call to Nova Scotia Power. Given the extreme high volumes of 6
calls in a very compressed timeframe, Nova Scotia Power is aware of some issues 7
experienced by local telephone service providers. Customers may have tried to call and 8
there was no dial tone or they received a busy or fast-busy signal when attempting to dial 9
Nova Scotia Power. 10
11
10.4 Critical Care Customers 12
13
Nova Scotia Powers Critical Care Customer Communication Program was activated as 14
part of our response to Arthur. This program is designed for customers whose health is 15
directly dependent on electricity, such as persons requiring oxygen machines or dialysis. 16
The communication program provides direct restoration information when unplanned 17
power outages are expected to last longer than four hours. It also includes direct updates 18
if the restoration time changes. To be included in the program a customer initiates an 19
application with Nova Scotia Power along with a letter from their doctor or registered 20
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medical service provider describing the type of home/critical care the customer is 1
currently receiving that is dependent on electricity. We conduct regular campaigns 2
reaching out to each critical care customer ensuring they still require the service and 3
validating the contact information. 4
5
A total of 574 critical care customers, approximately 57 percent of customers in the 6
program, lost power during Arthur. As Nova Scotia Power crews worked to restore 7
power, our Customer Service team reached out directly to these customers, making a call 8
to each one on J uly 5, though not every customer was reached. Automated and live calls 9
continued through to J uly 7, updating critical care customers on estimated restoration 10
times and the availability of comfort centres. Also on J uly 7, we provided these 11
customers with a direct contact line and dedicated Nova Scotia Power staff for 12
personalized updates. 13
14
10.4.1 Learnings, Recommendations and Action: 15
16
1. Nova Scotia Power is reviewing our contact methods with critical care customers 17
to determine if there are additional methods to reach this customer group. 18
19
2. We have initiated discussions with government and non-government agencies that 20
may be able to expand the services to this customer group, especially during 21
larger events. 22
23
10.5 Customer Communications Issues 24
25
Three key communications issues caused customer dissatisfaction: 26
27
Updates to estimated times to restore (ETRs) 28
Inability to access our online outage map 29
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Disconnections and message scripting on our High Volume Call Answering 1
(HVCA) system 2
3
10.5.1 Communications Issue #1 Estimated Times to Restore (ETRs) 4
5
The goal of our ETR strategy is to provide the best possible information to customers 6
throughout an outage restoration. This leaves us, as is the case for other utilities, with the 7
difficult task of trying to provide reasonable ETRs during storms before all damage has 8
been assessed. To deliver on this strategy, Nova Scotia Power focuses on trying to 9
communicate to the great majority of customers who will have power restored during the 10
first half of the event. For most customers, the power will be off because of damage to a 11
transmission line or distribution feeder; when that type of damage is fixed, power is 12
restored to a great number of customers at one time. Therefore, we target our early ETR 13
communication to outage events where greater than 100 customers have lost power. 14
15
During restoration efforts after Arthur, our practice of first communicating ETRs 16
applicable to outage events impacting 100 or more customers frustrated customers who 17
were among smaller pockets of outages, or even individual outages. In many cases, they 18
might have seen a restoration time applicable to their broader community, but it wasnt 19
applicable to their street, or their end of their street, or their individual address. ETRs for 20
these smaller groups of customers are determined and communicated later in the outage 21
event. 22
23
This ETR strategy has worked successfully in past storms, but with Arthur we had more 24
than 3,400 outage events impacting fewer than 100 customers on each event. This was 25
approximately 30,000 customers in total. This volume represents more than the total 26
number of outage events in any one of the storms detailed in Figure 16 earlier. 27
28
In addition, ETRs were updated multiple times. Our initial ETRs were modeled based on 29
the weather forecast. When the actual weather turned out to be significantly worse than 30
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the forecast, it meant that the resultant damage to the electricity system was worse than 1
our modeling predicted, and, thus, restorations would take longer. Secondly, because of 2
the large number of transmission outages, ETRs were based on when the transmission 3
lines were to be back on line. Once repaired, we were only then able to identify the 4
extent of damage on distribution lines and the resultant additional impact on ETRs. 5
6
10.5.1.1 Synopsis of ETRs 7
8
On Saturday, J uly 5, the storm ETR strategy was implemented. While the storm was still 9
active, the ETR strategy was aligned to match the advance storm prediction model. As 10
stated earlier, this model was based on a number of variables including weather forecasts, 11
the geographical location of the storms impact, and past storm experiences. This early 12
ETR strategy determined that customers may experience a power outage until the end of 13
day on Sunday. By 6:00 PM Saturday, the actual outages had exceeded the forecasted 14
model and communication was updated to target having feeders back on by 11:30 PM 15
Sunday, and all customers restored by 11:30 PM Monday. 16
17
After the storm had ended, and damage assessment was in its early stages, the ETRs for 18
major feeders were updated to 11:30 PM Sunday. This information was based on the fact 19
there were 10 transmission outages that were targeted to be restored by Sunday evening. 20
These ETRs remained in place throughout Sunday as work on the transmission system 21
continued. As the transmission system came on-line, it became evident that there were 22
many distribution related events behind the transmission events and customers in those 23
areas would have extended outages. At 11:00 PM Sunday, J uly 6, with this new 24
information, ETRs on large outage events were updated to 11:30 PM Tuesday, with the 25
last customer back on by 11:30 PM Wednesday. This meant approximately 50,000 26
customers had their ETR updated. 27
28
Throughout the day on Monday, more damage assessment information was being 29
collected and the number and severity of smaller outages was much greater than 30
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forecasted. Monday at 9:00 PM, the estimated time for restoration of the outage events 1
with fewer than 100 customers was updated to 11:30 PM Friday. The ETRs on larger 2
outage events remained unchanged. 3
4
On Thursday, the ETR strategy then focused on the outage events with fewer than 100 5
customers. New ETRs were determined and communicated by individual community to 6
approximately 6,300 customers with an additional table that was added to the online 7
outage map information page and Customer Service Representatives. 8
9
10.5.1.2 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 10
11
1. Nova Scotia Powers ETR strategy was implemented after the November 2004 ice 12
storm, and has been successfully employed during numerous storms since then. 13
However, practices in ETR strategies have been evolving among North American 14
electric utilities that are exposed to severe weather. We recommend that Nova 15
Scotia Power work with the UARBs consultant (who has experience in this area) 16
to further examine our ETR strategy, current best practices, and bring forward any 17
changes to the ETR strategy that would be in the best interest of customers 18
including any potential changes to the telephone systems. 19
20
10.5.2 Communications Issue #2 Outage Map Capacity 21
22
Not all customers and stakeholders were able to access outage information on the outage 23
map page of our website. The size of technology infrastructure in place to deliver outage 24
information over the Internet could not process the peak volumes of requests. The outage 25
map provides a graphical view of important power outage information, as well as text 26
descriptions of outage locations, number of customers without power, and estimated 27
times of restoration. The outage map is an important part of Nova Scotia Powers outage 28
communication strategy with provincial and local government leaders, customers, the 29
media, and other interested parties. 30
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1
On a typical day, the website delivers up to 90 percent of the page requests successfully. 2
The 10 percent not successfully delivered usually stem from an incorrectly entered 3
Internet address, or the type of device or browser is not supported and therefore no 4
information can be delivered. On Saturday, J uly 5, the outage page server was 5
overwhelmed by the high volumes of information requests. It reached a peak processing 6
of approximately 50,000 successful pages per hour being delivered to people, at which 7
time the processing capacity of the technology infrastructure reached 100 percent 8
utilization and began degrading in service. This led more customers to call the outage line 9
increasing its volume of calls. Figure 58 shows the requested vs successful pages 10
delivered by day. 11
12
Figure 58: Daily Web Traffic 13
14
15
Figure 59 shows the outage map page views in 2014. The J uly 5 peak usage is over 60 16
percent greater than the previous peak reached during an outage in late March. During 17
that event the outage map page experienced no capacity related issues. 18
19
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Figure 59: Outage Map Page Views 2014 1
2
3
Figure 60 shows the hourly view of the outage map page successful requests to 4
customers. After the outage map reached its peak capacity around 10:00 AM on 5
Saturday there was an immediate degradation in service. This was the result of the 6
computer reaching its maximum processing capability and having no more resources to 7
respond to customer requests. 8
9
A power outage at Nova Scotia Powers Data Centre (for more detail refer to Section 10
10.5.4) on J uly 5 resulted in a loss of data for the outage page to present. This lasted 11
from approximately 11:30 AM until 1:30 PM, during which time outage information 12
became unavailable to the public. The web technology was functioning during the Data 13
Centre outage; however, it was delivering error message pages to customers. Figure 60 14
reflects the fact no pages with outage information were being delivered to customers 15
during this period. 16
17
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Figure 60: Call Volume & Outage Web Traffic July 5, 2014 1
2
3
Corrective actions were taken Monday, J uly 7, (Day 3) to increase the volume of requests 4
that the website could process. A switch was made during the day to remove the actual 5
outage map and present the text based descriptions of the outage locations and ETRs. 6
This allowed more requests to be successfully processed. In addition, the technology was 7
being monitored and controlled manually, ensuring that all server functions were being 8
utilized to the most benefit of customer requests. 9
10
Also regarding the outage map, the page includes the disclaimer: This site shows 11
information on outages affecting more than 100 customers. Some customers have 12
commented that because they dont know whether their outage involves fewer than 100 13
customers, theyre left uninformed, or they are left with a lack of confidence in the 14
information being provided. 15
16
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10.5.2.1 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 1
2
1. We are in the process of increasing the capacity of our website to handle a greater 3
number of outage requests per hour, with a speed of delivery of five seconds or 4
less. 5
6
10.5.3 Communications Issue #3 High Volume Call Answering (HVCA) System 7
Disconnections and Message Scripting 8
9
As part of the Utility and Review Boards review of the November 2004 ice storm, it was 10
agreed by all parties, and the UARB approved, a capital work order to invest in a High 11
Volume Call Answering (HVCA) system. This system was designed to assist customers 12
in reporting an outage or an emergency, and in receiving power outage information, 13
through automation during the high call volume periods. The HVCA system enables 14
high numbers of customers to interact with Nova Scotia Power simultaneously. 15
16
The HVCA system also provides our customers with the option to speak with a Customer 17
Service Representative. In cases where the number of customers wishing to speak with a 18
Customer Service Representative exceeds the designed threshold, the HVCA system 19
informs the customer of the high call volumes, asks the customer to call back later, and 20
then disconnects the call. The system is designed this way to allow all customers to 21
report outages and receive outage information during peak calling periods, and ensures 22
that Customer Service Representatives are available for emergency situations. Due to the 23
exceptional number of callers following Arthur during peak hours, over 300 calls per 24
minute some customers could have been disconnected a number of times. 25
26
Figure 61 below details the number of times a customer was asked to call back during our 27
response to Post-Tropical Storm Arthur. If customers called the customer service line 28
instead of the outage line and pressed the prompt to report an outage, they too could have 29
been asked to call back and then been disconnected. 30
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Figure 61: Incidents where HVCA asked Customers to Call Back Later, then 1
Disconnected 2
3
4
Related to the issues around our ETR strategy, some customers who phoned our Outage 5
Information Line found the messaging confusing. For example, a caller affected by one 6
of the outages of fewer than 100 customers may have called and successfully reported 7
their outage, either live or via self-service on our High Volume Call Answering (HVCA) 8
system. If they called back later, they would have heard the ETR for a larger feeder 9
event, not their smaller outage event. The larger feeder event would have been restored 10
first and closed within the Outage Management System. If they called back, they would 11
have heard the system message: There are no widespread outages in your area. Their 12
outage would have still been on the Outage Management System, but because the ETR 13
communication plan first speaks to outages impacting 100 customers or more, the 14
customer might think we didnt know they were still without power. In that case, the 15
customer might then have tried to report their outage again. 16
17
As well, after weve restored power to a feeder, we initiate an automated outbound 18
calling campaign to customers on the restored feeder to confirm whether their power is 19
back on. The automated message states: This is an automated callback from Nova 20
Scotia Power. Our records indicate power has been restored to your area. If you are still 21
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without power then press 1 now. In some cases, customers who were part of a smaller 1
outage event embedded within a restored feeder found this message confusing or 2
frustrating. 3
4
Also related to Nova Scotia Powers phone system, we have a separate telephone number 5
for power outages (1-877-428-6004), in addition to our regular Customer Service Line 6
(1-800-428-6230). When customers phone either number, there is a designed capacity of 7
122 trunks to speak with a customer service representative. During large events like 8
Arthur those trunks become fully utilized at peak intervals. On Monday, J uly 7, through 9
Friday, J uly 11, Nova Scotia Power was open for regular business, which increased the 10
number of people trying to reach a Customer Service Representative. This dynamic was 11
a driver of why we established a separate power outage line. 12
13
In addition, an issue with our telecommunications supplier resulted in a reduced number 14
of available phone lines to our Customer Care Centre from Monday J uly 7 until 1:00 AM 15
on Wednesday J uly 9. 16
17
10.5.3.1 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 18
19
1. We will build a customer communications plan to help better inform 20
customers on outage restoration and communications during future large 21
storm events. 22
23
2. We are updating the scripting and process flows for power outage 24
customer communications, focused on customers impacted by outage 25
events of fewer than 100 customers. 26
27
3. Please see recommendation #1 in section 10.5.1.2 for further 28
improvements to customer communications as related to the ETR strategy. 29
30
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10.5.4 Data Centre Outage 1
2
A power outage at Nova Scotia Powers Data Centre on Saturday, J uly 5, caused our 3
Outage Management System (OMS) to go down from approximately 11:30 AM until 4
1:30 PM. This resulted in updated outage information not being delivered to the power 5
outage line High Volume Call Answer system, or the outage map on the website. Both of 6
these situations frustrated customers and created multiple attempts to reach Nova Scotia 7
Power for information. 8
9
As a result, service levels in the Customer Care Centre for J uly 5 were severely impacted 10
by all these factors. Figure 62 shows the number of calls that were offered to the 11
Customer Care Centre, the volume answered, and the number of callers who abandoned 12
their call before being answered. Staffing levels are also indicated. The high level of 13
abandoned calls at 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM corresponds to Arthur hitting Nova Scotia 14
earlier than forecast. The spike in calls offered to agents at 12:00 noon correlates to the 15
high volume of people not able to access the outage map on the website. 16
17
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Figure 62: Customer Care Centre Hourly Call Handling Statistics July 5, 2014 1
2
3
10.5.4.1 Cause of the Data Centre Outage 4
5
At approximately 11:30 AM Saturday, J uly 5, utility power from the street to our Data 6
Centre was lost due to the storm. The back-up generators both engaged as designed, 7
supplying the full Data Centre load. Shortly after the generators started, a breaker tripped 8
that serviced auxiliary load associated with generator B. One of the devices served on 9
the auxiliary load were the fans that cooled the room for generator B. Without the fans 10
in service, the generator became overheated and tripped off. That left generator A 11
serving over 90 percent of Nova Scotia Powers IT assets. An investigation found an 12
improper setting on a relay was the root cause of the auxiliary load breaker trip and has 13
since been corrected and tested. 14
15
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Nova Scotia Power was in the final stages of completing the Data Centre upgrade project, 1
which is replacing end-of-life electro-mechanical equipment and implementing redundant 2
power and cooling systems. One of the final stages of this project was to transfer the 3
remaining IT servers that were being powered through the older electrical power 4
distribution units (PDU). This PDU is to be decommissioned as part of the upgrade 5
project. One of the applications still remaining on the server powered by the old PDU 6
was our Outage Management System (OMS). It has been on that same power supply 7
since it went into service and was scheduled to be moved to the new power supply 8
infrastructure within the month. As one of most complex applications, it was scheduled 9
for the summer, in the later part of the project, to reduce the risk when it is moved. 10
11
The loss of OMS meant that there were no new power outage events being fed to the 12
High Volume Call Answering (HVCA) system, or the outage map on the website for 13
approximately two hours. The HVCA continued to communicate the most recent 14
information in the system, but no new information was being received. For the outage 15
map, without OMS there was no information to present to customers, and therefore an 16
error message was delivered. 17
18
Power was restored from the street approximately 20 minutes after the PDU lost power 19
supply, and the servers began powering up. The OMS was then restarted and following 20
regular restart procedures was back in regular production mode at approximately 1:30 21
PM. 22
23
We perform regular maintenance on the electrical back-up system for the Data Centre on 24
a monthly basis. This includes starting up the generators. This maintenance had been 25
completed successfully throughout 2014. The maintenance program also includes an 26
annual electrical back-up system test at full load. This was completed successfully in 27
March on both generators. A separate test was successfully completed in J uly, following 28
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur on both generators at building load to validate the corrective 29
action taken on the breaker. 30
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11.0 OUTAGE COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW 1
2
11.1 Introduction 3
4
This section details our outage communication technology. 5
6
11.2 Early days of HVCA and OMS 7
8
In J une of 1999, Nova Scotia Power introduced a new power outage phone number for 9
customers and an elementary High Volume Call Answering (HVCA) system. The 10
dedicated 1-877-428-6004 telephone number provided direct access to NS Powers power 11
interruption reporting process. The HVCA system provided increased capacity for large 12
volumes of customers to obtain outage information and exit the system, thus making 13
capacity into our call centre available to other callers wishing to report an outage or 14
emergency. 15
16
In April of 2002, we introduced our Outage Management System (OMS). The OMS 17
system provides a province-wide view of system outages and a single place to manage 18
the information that customers are seeking (e.g. restoration times). The integration of 19
OMS and HVCA allowed current information on the locations of power outages, 20
restoration times, and the cause to be communicated to many customers at the same time. 21
22
11.3 Current HVCA System 23
24
Following significant outage events in 2003 and 2004 and subsequent reviews, we set out 25
to improve our outage call handling capabilities. The systems in service at that time had 26
capacity restrictions, functionality gaps and were decreasing in effectiveness due to cell 27
phone proliferation, local number portability and increasing customer expectations. In 28
2008, we made a significant improvement in outage call handling and outage 29
communications for customers. With UARB approval, we invested $2.2 million in a 30
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HVCA replacement project to improve outage communications. Nova Scotia Power 1
entered into an agreement with Twenty First Century Communications (TFCC) for the 2
provision of outage call handling services. TFCC is a leader in mass call event 3
management and provides outage call handling services to many of North Americas 4
largest utilities, including the majority of those in hurricane prone geographies. 5
6
As part of the HVCA replacement project, we conducted focus groups and customer 7
surveys to better understand customer requirements and gaps in the existing solution. 8
Experts in system design were engaged to assist with call flow design and customer 9
usability testing. Service providers were engaged to rigorously test the new HVCA 10
system to ensure it could deliver under the most extreme calling conditions. 11
12
In December 2008, our new HVCA solution went live to customers following rigorous 13
stress testing. The HVCA replacement project implemented industry leading, best-in- 14
class solutions, for high volume call answering and eliminated many of the previous 15
issues by ensuring: 16
17
No busy signals. All customer calls are answered subject to the constraints of 18
the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). 19
20
Customers are able to report an outage in the automated system. 21
22
Emergency calls (e.g. wires down calls) are identified in main menu and 23
transferred to our Customer Care Centre with priority. 24
25
Information on outages is specific to the customers location. 26
27
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All customers have the option to talk to a Customer Service Representative 1
(CSR), although this does not significantly increase the percentage of customers 2
who get to speak with a CSR. 3
4
Fewer polite disconnects, while ensuring the customer is still be able to log a 5
trouble ticket. 6
7
Ability for customers to request information and report outages for multiple 8
locations. 9
10
UARB consultants monitored and reviewed our new HVCA implementation and 11
concluded in their 2009 report to the UARB: 12
13
NSPI has replaced its old HVCA outage communications system with a 14
new, customer-designed, stress-tested, system capable of consistently 15
handling 40,000 callers per hour. NSPI has developed and implemented a 16
near-real time interactive (2-way) high volume outage reporting and 17
messaging service so that all callers can report outages and hear 18
information about their location (feeder-based). 19
20
NSPI has also improved emergency call handling through the 21
implementation of the new HVCA. In the past, emergency calls were 22
getting blocked by customers waiting to report outages, hear more 23
information about restoration status, or to address other calling needs. The 24
old HVCA system did not give emergency calls any priority over other 25
callers. Emergency wire-down calls can now be easily routed to the first 26
available representative to be handled expeditiously. 27
28
Overall, NSPI has significantly improved the level of service provided to 29
customers during a large storm.
3
30
31


3
Liberty Consulting Group, Report on NSPIs Customer Communications Stress Testing, May 5, 2009, page 4.
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In conjunction with the launch of the new HVCA solution, we also launched our outage 1
map, making outage information accessible online for the first time. Initially of interest 2
mainly to media, the proliferation of smartphones has made the outage map a source of 3
outage information for many customers. 4
11.4 Outage Communication Technology 5
6
Nova Scotia Power uses a number of technology systems to enable the delivery of power 7
outage information to customers and other stakeholders. The integration of these systems 8
is configured to deliver the best possible information to customers quickly and make it 9
assessable. The various components are described below, followed by a schematic and 10
description of Nova Scotia Powers integrated outage communication technology. 11
12
11.5 Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) 13
14
This is the system which Nova Scotia Power uses to monitor and control the transmission 15
system and, to a limited extent, the distribution system. It is composed of a large number 16
of Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) that provide the status of protective devices, meter 17
readings, loading, etc. In conjunction with computer hardware and software in the 18
Ragged Lake Control Centre, SCADA enables Nova Scotia Power System Operators to 19
control devices throughout the province. It provides information on breaker and recloser 20
status directly to the OMS. 21
22
11.6 Customer Information System (CIS) 23
24
CIS is the repository of Nova Scotia Powers information on our customers. On a nightly 25
basis, current customer information is updated from CIS to provide an accurate customer- 26
to-telephone number-to-location match for outage management. This information is 27
transferred to the Interactive Voice Response Message Centre (IMC) and used by the 28
High Volume Call Answer (HVCA) system to identify the customer who is calling and to 29
quickly deliver outage status information and to enable the customer to report an outage. 30
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11.7 Geographic Information System (GIS) 1
2
The Geographic Information System is a database that holds customer location 3
information and the distribution electrical model used by OMS. The data is stored in a 4
spatial format allowing OMS to have an accurate understanding of what customers are 5
served by which components of the electrical grid. 6
7
11.8 Work Management System (WMS) 8
9
WMS is an application used to plan and manage distribution field work. OMS can 10
generate work to line crews for follow-up after restoration activities. 11
12
11.9 High Volume Call Answer (HVCA) 13
14
Nova Scotia Power provides a High Volume Call Answer system for customers to call to 15
report an outage, or emergency, and to receive updated outage information. The HVCA 16
is scaled to work in all sizes of outage events. It can handle outages when only one 17
customer has to report an outage or when large volumes (up to 40,000) customers 18
simultaneously want to report an outage or receive power outage information. All 19
customers who dial Nova Scotia Power's dedicated outage number (1-877-428-6004 or 20
428-6004 in Halifax) are first connected to the HVCA system. The HVCA system offers 21
menu driven options for customers to: 22
23
1. Report outages and receive outage updates: Outage information (location, cause 24
and estimated time of restore) is provided based on matching the calling line ID or 25
telephone number the caller enters into the system, to Nova Scotia Powers outage 26
information. If there are no outages greater than 100 customers matching that 27
location, then customers will hear the message: There are no widespread outages 28
reported in your area. All customers can report their outage using the automated 29
system. An outage ticket is generated and sent to OMS for processing. 30
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2. Report wires down or other emergencies. All callers reporting a "wires down" or 1
emergencies are transferred to Nova Scotia Powers Customer Care Centre with 2
high priority to speak directly to a Customer Service Representative (CSR). The 3
CSR will create a high priority ticket in OMS. 4
5
3. Report bright, dim, flickering lights or other power problems. All callers 6
reporting bright, dim, flickering lights or other power problems are transferred to 7
our Customer Care Centre to speak directly to a Customer Service Representative 8
9
The HVCA system ensures all customers calling the dedicated outage line can receive 10
outage information and report an outage or emergency. In extreme call volumes, some 11
callers trying to speak with a CSR may be asked to call back. 12
13
11.10 Interactive Voice Response Message Centre (IMC) 14
15
The IMC system receives summary outage information from OMS and enables that 16
information to be distributed to the HVCA system and the external website via the outage 17
map. The IMC system also enables enhanced ETR management capabilities to manage 18
ETRs at more macro level than OMS can provide. 19
20
11.11 nspower.ca 21
22
Our website provides a one-stop portal for power outage related information under the 23
title of Outage Centre. The section includes our outage map, which details where the 24
power is out, the cause of the outage, number of customers impacted, and the estimated 25
time of restoration. 26
27
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Figure 63: Customers and Stakeholders Diagram 1
2
3
11.12 General Outage Information Flow and the Outage Management System 4
5
Notification of a power outage is received by the Outage Management System (OMS) 6
either through automatic notification from the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition 7
(SCADA) system, customers reporting their power is out, or information from our crews 8
or emergency services. This information is all input to determine the probable location 9
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and extent of a power outage. The analysis engine of OMS examines the available 1
information to electrically identify a common up-stream interrupting device that is the 2
most probable cause of the outage. OMS then generates an outage event and notifies a 3
dispatcher. If the outage has been identified as an emergency situation then it is flagged 4
as priority and is placed at the top of the dispatch queue. Once the outage event has been 5
created, it is automatically updated in the telephone systems and website for customer 6
and stakeholder communication. The information to be updated includes the expected 7
location of the outage, when the power was known to be interrupted, and the estimated 8
time of restoration (ETR). Once crews are on site, have assessed the damage and have a 9
plan to safely restore power, this information is updated in OMS by the crews calling the 10
dispatcher. Once updated in OMS, the information being communicated to customers 11
and stakeholders is automatically updated. 12
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12.0 RELIABILITY PERFORMANCE METRICS 1
2
12.1 Introduction 3
4
This section discusses Nova Scotia Powers Reliability Investment Strategy and provides 5
statistical data demonstrating that the strategy has improved service reliability for our 6
customers. 7
8
12.2 Reliability Investment Strategy & Results 9
10
Nova Scotia Powers multi-year Reliability Investment Strategy has resulted in a step- 11
change towards improved reliability for our customers. Our reliability investments have 12
produced some of our best reliability performance metrics in recent years, 2011 to 2013 13
in particular. In 2012, Nova Scotia Power had the best reliability in Atlantic Canada as 14
compared to the average of the other Atlantic utilities. Nova Scotia Power also 15
experienced its best Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (CAIDI) and System 16
Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) ever in 2012. 17
18
We are outperforming the average of other Atlantic Canadian utilities on System Average 19
Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) and System Average Interruption Duration Index 20
(SAIDI), as shown in Figure 64, Figure 65 and Figure 66. 21
22
Figure 64: Reliability Performance Metrics 2011-2013 23
SAIFI 2011 2012 2013
Atlantic Utilities 3.75 2.87 3.85
Nova Scotia Power 3.73 1.86 2.51

SAIDI 2011 2012 2013
Atlantic Utilities 8.80 5.45 13.04
Nova Scotia Power 7.90 3.06 6.24
24
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Figure 65: Historical Outage Frequency 2011-2013 1
2
3
Figure 66: Historical Outage Duration 2011-2013 4
5
6
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
2011 2012 2013
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

O
u
t
a
g
e

F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
Historical Outage Frequency
NS Power Atlantic Utilities
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
2011 2012 2013
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

T
o
t
a
l

O
u
t
a
g
e

D
u
r
a
t
i
o
n
Historical Outage Duration
NS Power Atlantic Utilities
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As can be seen in Figure 67 and Figure 68, customers are experiencing fewer 1
interruptions and shorter total duration of outages, and results for 2013 metrics are similar 2
to 2012. The following charts break out the contribution that storms have made to the 3
annual SAIFI and SAIDI since 2010. The storms have been broken out into Non-Major 4
Storm Days, Major Storm Days. Note that 2012 did not have any Non-Major or Major 5
Storm days. A specific day is classified a Major Storm if its total Customer Hours of 6
Interruptions exceeds a calculated threshold. This threshold is calculated using IEEE 7
Standard 1366-2003. Based on weather-normalized data, the system reliability continues 8
to improve. 9
10
Figure 67: NS Power Annual SAIFI 2010-2013 11
12
13
0.000
0.500
1.000
1.500
2.000
2.500
3.000
3.500
4.000
4.500
5.000
2010 2011 2012 2013
NSPowerAnnualSAIFI
RegularDays NonMajorStormDays MajorEventDays
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Figure 68: NS Power Annual SAIDI 2010-2013 1
2
3
Figure 69 and Figure 70 demonstrate the number of outage events and total customers 4
affected from loss of supply due to transmission line or substation events has improved in 5
recent years. Notwithstanding 2013 experiencing higher or equal supply outage events 6
and supply customer interruptions, compared to 2009 to 2012, they are still significantly 7
lower than those experienced in 2007 and 2008. 8
9
0.000
2.000
4.000
6.000
8.000
10.000
12.000
14.000
16.000
18.000
20.000
2010 2011 2012 2013
NSPowerAnnualSAIDI
RegularDays NonMajorStormDays MajorStormDays
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Figure 69: Annual Unplanned Loss of Supply Outage Events 2007-2013 1
2
3
Figure 70: Annual Unplanned Loss of Supply Customer Interruptions 2007-2013 4
5
6
Figure 71 and Figure 72 demonstrate reliability gains realized through upgrades and 7
replacements of targeted distribution equipment. There has been a steady improvement 8
in both the customer interruptions and customer hours of interruption due to deteriorated 9
equipment. 10
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
AnnualUnplannedLossofSupplyOutageEvents

50,000
100,000
150,000
200,000
250,000
300,000
350,000
400,000
450,000
500,000
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
AnnualUnplannedLossofSupplyCustomer
Interruptions
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Figure 71: Annual Deteriorated Equipment Customer Interruptions 2007-2013 1
2
3
Figure 72: Annual Deteriorated Equipment Customer Hours of Interruption 2007- 4
2013 5
6
7
In 2010, Hurricane Earl had a significant effect on customer interruptions and hours due 8
to trees. However, Figure 73 and Figure 74 demonstrate both customer interruptions and 9
hours due to tree contacts are trending towards improved customer reliability overall. 10
0
50,000
100,000
150,000
200,000
250,000
300,000
350,000
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
AnnualDeterioratedEquipmentCustomerInterruptions
0
100,000
200,000
300,000
400,000
500,000
600,000
700,000
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
AnnualDeterioratedEquipmentCustomerHoursof
Interruption
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Figure 73: Annual Tree Contact Customer Interruptions 2007-2013 1
2
3
Figure 74: Annual Tree Contact Customer Hours of Interruption 2007-2013 4
5
6
Nova Scotia Power continually monitors outages and performance of transmission, 7
substation and distribution assets, and future investments will continue at an appropriate 8
level to ensure affordable and reliable service. 9

100,000
200,000
300,000
400,000
500,000
600,000
700,000
800,000
900,000
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
AnnualTreeContactCustomerInterruptions

1,000,000
2,000,000
3,000,000
4,000,000
5,000,000
6,000,000
7,000,000
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
AnnualTreeContactCustomerHoursofInterruption
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13.0 EXTERNAL BENCHMARKS 1
2
This section presents a comparison of Nova Scotia Powers restoration performance after 3
post-Tropical Storm Arthur using external benchmarks. Nova Scotia Power engaged 4
Davies Consulting, LLC, to assist with this analysis, both to support the post-event 5
critique process specified in the Nova Scotia Power Emergency Services Restoration Plan 6
(ESRP) and to respond to the directive from the NSUARB. Davies Consulting, a leading 7
consultancy to electric and gas utilities within North America, has conducted this type of 8
analysis in response to numerous public utility board inquiries after major storms. Please 9
refer to Appendix 13.01 for additional information about the Firms experience. 10
11
Davies Consulting compared Nova Scotia Powers experience to other restorations after 12
similar weather events using information from its confidential and proprietary Storm 13
Response Benchmark Database. Initiated in 2003, the database currently contains key 14
statistics from approximately 98 major event responses by 43 electric utilities across 15
North America. Updates to the database occur frequently and current data reflect 16
responses to a number of major storms through the end of J uly 2014. 17
18
13.1 Overview of the NS Power Benchmarking Analysis 19
20
Benchmarking is a valuable tool in evaluating how a utilitys performance compares to 21
that of other utilities in similar circumstances. This kind of analysis is not intended to 22
provide a precise, scientifically-validated evaluation; rather it provides a relative or 23
directional view of the performance across the events selected for comparison. 24
25
It is important to interpret the results of a benchmark effort with an understanding of the 26
underlying differences that may cause variances in utility performance. For example, one 27
should recognize that each weather event is unique with different wind speeds, levels of 28
precipitation, paths, accuracy of forecasts, and specific geographic impact. Additionally, 29
each utility has a unique set of operating and system design characteristics that have 30
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evolved over the years. These may necessitate the use of restoration strategies that differ 1
from those of other utilities responding to similar events. 2
3
Also, it is important to recognize that the information contained in the storm benchmark 4
database is self-reported by each utility and that individual companies may calculate 5
certain kinds of data differently. For example, some utilities calculate the completion of 6
a restoration when 99 percent of the customers are restored, while others use 100 percent. 7
Similarly, some companies start counting restoration days after the weather system has 8
cleared the service territory and it is safe to begin restoration work, while others start the 9
count as soon as the first outages related to a storm occur. The eight-day restoration by 10
Nova Scotia Power after Arthur includes both the day of the storm (J uly 5) and the last 11
day of restoration when all 100 percent of the customers who lost power as a result of the 12
storm were restored, representing a conservative representation of the restoration 13
duration. 14
15
The benchmark analysis of Nova Scotia Powers performance includes 32 other storm 16
restorations, across the following types of events: 17
18
Figure 75: Storm Events Included in NS Power Benchmarking Analysis 19
Type of Event
No. of
Events
Hurricane Category 1 17
Tropical Storms 8
Thunderstorm 4
Wind Storm 3
Total 32
20
In addition to those events and Nova Scotia Powers response to post-Tropical Storm 21
Arthur, the analysis includes two other Nova Scotia Power restorations: Hurricane J uan 22
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in 2003 and Hurricane Earl in 2010. All of the Nova Scotia Power events are highlighted 1
and labeled in the analysis. The key statistics related to the three Nova Scotia Power 2
events are shown in Figure 76: 3
4
Figure 76: NS Power Storm Response Benchmarking Statistics 5
Storms
Restoration
Duration
(days)
Customers
Out at Peak
(000s)
Total
Customers
Out (000s)
Poles Out
Total Line
Resources
Deployed
Arthur (2014) 8 137 245 217 266
Earl (2010) 3.5 186 220 46 300
J uan (2003) 14 221 300 761 342
6
13.2 Benchmarking Results 7
8
The comparison to similar events in the Davies Consulting Storm Response Benchmark 9
Database indicates that the overall duration of Nova Scotia Powers restoration of outages 10
caused by post-Tropical Storm Arthur was in line with the performance of other utilities 11
after similar events. This performance was notable considering Nova Scotia Power 12
experienced a relatively higher amount of infrastructure damage as a result of the storm, 13
as indicated by the Poles Replaced per Thousand Customers Out at Peak metric shown in 14
Figure 78. 15
16
Figure 77 shows the performance of Nova Scotia Power during the response to Arthur, 17
relative to the comparators, in terms of length of restoration related to customers out a 18
peak. When compared to other similar events, Nova Scotia Powers overall performance 19
during post-Tropical Storm Arthur was within the industry norm. 20
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Figure 77: Restoration Duration Comparison 1
2
Source: Davies Consulting Storm Benchmark Database, 2014 3
4
An important variable in assessing restoration effectiveness is the level of system damage 5
caused by an event. For benchmarking purposes, a proxy for storm-related damage is the 6
number of poles that had to be replaced. This is a reasonable substitute to use because 7
the level of effort to replace a pole generally requires an equivalent level of effort across 8
different companies. Also, the number of poles down captures both the intensity of the 9
storm and, depending on the distribution of poles, the general spread of the storm across 10
the service territory. 11
12
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Figure 78
4
, indicates the relative damage sustained by Nova Scotia Power from Arthur as 1
compared to other similar events in the group of comparators. A restoration with a value 2
of one means that there was one pole replaced per thousand customers out at peak. 3
4
Nova Scotia Power replaced approximately 1.6 poles for every thousand customers 5
during Arthur. In terms of the relative level of system damage, Arthur was in the top 6
one-third of all events where data was available among the comparators (information for 7
28 restorations was available to calculate this ratio). Notably, Nova Scotia Power 8
replaced approximately half the number of poles per thousand customers out at peak 9
during Arthur than were replaced during Hurricane J uan. 10


4
Some companies did not make available all information related to the restoration for each of the 32 events, so this
benchmark analysis includes fewer than 32 comparators.
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Figure 78: Poles Replaced per Thousand Customers Out at Peak 1
2
Source: Davies Consulting Storm Benchmark Database, 2014 3
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14.0 FINANCIAL IMPACTS OF POST-TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR 1
2
14.1 Introduction 3
4
This section provides accounting of the costs Nova Scotia Power incurred in our response 5
to Post-Tropical Storm Arthur. It also discusses the value for customers in using 6
contracted Power Line Technicians to supplement our own crews during storm response. 7
8
14.2 Overview 9
10
Restoration costs for Post-Tropical Storm Arthur are higher than any storm since 11
Hurricane J uan. It is estimated that the total restoration effort will cost approximately 12
$8.4 million: $3.9 million in capital expenses and $4.5 million in operating, maintenance 13
and general (OM&G) costs. 14
15
As of the end of J uly, Nova Scotia Power has incurred $10.5 million in OM&G expenses 16
year-to-date for storm recovery for Arthur and other storms. The full year amount for 17
storm recovery included in 2014 electricity rates is $10.5 million. 18
19
We are committed to providing safe, reliable, cost effective electricity to customers. 20
Nova Scotia Power has always optimized the staffing complement in the Transmission 21
and Distribution (T&D) area, among others, to meet normal workloads. We use 22
contractor personnel to augment our workforce for construction work and storm response. 23
A thorough review has determined that using contractors to balance workload provides 24
the best value and most affordable option for our customers. 25
26
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14.3 Future Impacts and Affordability 1
2
Post-Tropical Storm Arthur will not impact customer costs in 2014, nor will it impact 3
rates in the future. Storm restoration costs were funded in the 2013-14 General Rate 4
Application (GRA) based on historical trends that included the possibility of costly large 5
storms like Arthur. We expect storm costs over the two-year GRA period to approximate 6
what was provided in rates. 7
8
14.4 Supplementing NS Power PLTs with Contractors 9
10
Power Line Technicians (PLTs) are key front-line personnel in storm response. These 11
highly qualified tradespeople safely repair damage to downed power lines, broken poles, 12
blown transformers and other equipment during storm restoration. Nova Scotia Power 13
has put significant effort, over the past number of years, into assessing the optimal 14
number of PLTs to meet service levels and the demands of construction timelines. We 15
have determined that augmenting our internal workforce with contractors, as needed, is 16
the best way to provide the most reliable service to customers at the lowest cost. 17
18
We employ contractors to manage peaks in demand for PLT labour, not only for 19
construction and service, but also for storm restoration. Our primary vendor for flexible 20
PLT labour, Emera Utility Services (EUS), was selected through a rigorous and reviewed 21
RFP process, and we also engage PLTs from New Brunswick, New England, and 22
occasionally elsewhere, for storm response. Hiring these contractors during a storm is a 23
much more cost-effective way to ensure that an adequate number of PLTs is available for 24
a safe, timely and efficient restoration of power than would be the case if Nova Scotia 25
Power hired those same PLTs as a part of the permanent internal workforce. 26
27
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14.5 Cost of Post-Tropical Storm Arthur 1
2
The initial cost estimate for Post-Tropical Storm Arthur is $8.4 million as shown in 3
Figure 79. Generally speaking, during the restoration effort for Arthur, PLTs and other 4
field workers spent approximately 40 percent of their time working on capital jobs, and 5
60 percent on OM&G jobs. 6
7
Figure 79: Initial Cost Estimate for Post-Tropical Storm Arthur ($M) 8
OM&G Capital Total
Total NS Power Labour 1.7 1.0 2.7
PLT Services
Vegetation Management
Flagging & Backhoe
1.9
0.4
0.1
1.4
0.2
0.5
3.3
0.6
0.6
Total Contractor Labour 2.4 2.1 4.5

Materials 0.1 0.6 0.7
Travel, Meals &
Incidentals 0.2 0.2 0.4
Other 0.1 - 0.1
Total Non-Labour 0.4 0.8 1.2
Total Storm 4.5 3.9 8.4
9
Of particular note are the contractor costs as compared to the internal direct labour costs, 10
which include Nova Scotia Power PLTs, and other staff such as electricians and meter 11
readers. External contractors are more costly compared to internal labour when viewed 12
strictly on an hour-by-hour basis. This is mostly because the hourly contractor cost 13
includes all costs associated with providing that resource, whereas internal labour is the 14
labour cost of the employee. The contractor rate is recovering costs for such items as the 15
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capital and operating costs of vehicles, training, sick and vacation days, supervisory and 1
administrative burden, as well as a profit margin. 2
3
Nova Scotia Power has pre-agreed hourly storm response rates with EUS, for all 4
contractors from New Brunswick, and a pre-negotiated Mutual Assistance Agreement 5
with contractors from New England. 6
7
14.5.1 Arthur Compared to Other Major Storms 8
9
Current estimates indicate that the restoration from Hurricane Arthur will cost 10
approximately $8.4 million. By comparison, Hurricane J uan cost $14.6 million (2003 11
dollars), and Hurricane Earl cost $7.3 million (2010 dollars). Please refer to Figure 80. 12
13
Figure 80: Cost Comparison ($M) 14
Arthur
2014
Juan
2003
Earl
2010
Operating Costs 4.5 6.0 6.5
Capital Costs 3.9 8.6 0.8
Total 8.4 14.6 7.3
15
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15.0 COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS 1
2
15.1 Introduction 3
4
This section details our public communications activities before, during and after Post- 5
Tropical Storm Arthur. It describes the Communications and Public Affairs teams role 6
in providing timely, relevant and consistent messaging to a variety of stakeholders, 7
including the public, media, employees, government officials. It also discusses a growing 8
expectation for customer service through social media platforms. 9
10
15.2 Communicating with One Voice 11
12
As per the ESRP communications sub plan, Nova Scotia Power executed on a media 13
communications, stakeholder and social media plan to provide the public with timely, 14
relevant information in the lead up to Post-Tropical Storm Arthur, during the storm, and 15
through the restoration work that followed. 16
17
As during regular business days, the Communications and Public Affairs team followed a 18
one voice approach, ensuring that messaging and information was consistent across all 19
platforms to all audiences, including customers, media, employees, elected officials, and 20
other stakeholders. As per the ESRP, while the Emergency Operations Centre was 21
activated Saturday, J uly 5, to Monday, J uly 7, this one voice approach was managed by 22
the Corporate Communications Lead, who attended the EOC and gathered information to 23
craft messages that were approved by the Storm Lead. Once approved, the Corporate 24
Communications Lead provided messaging to the Communications and Public Affairs 25
Team (headquartered at Nova Scotia Powers Lower Water Street offices) for use in 26
media interviews, social media posts, and email updates to internal and external 27
stakeholders. Messages were shared with the EOC Customer Communications Lead. 28
29
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The Corporate Communications Lead updated messaging, as events warranted, 1
throughout the EOC activation period. After the EOC deactivated, the Communications 2
and Public Affairs Team continued to follow a one voice approach through to the 3
completion of outage restoration. 4
5
15.3 Public Communications in Advance of Arthur 6
7
Our public messaging on Post-Tropical Storm Arthur began on Thursday, J uly 3, when 8
we issued a news release reminding customers that a storm was approaching. The release 9
included a link to the outage preparedness and electrical safety tips sections of our 10
website. It also provided customers with a link to our outage map and the phone number 11
for the Customer Care Centre outage line. We also posted the same messages on Twitter. 12
13
On the two days before the storm we tweeted Arthur-specific messages twice. On J uly 3, 14
we posted our news release. It was retweeted 12 times. On J uly 4, we tweeted a link to 15
our website, which provided tips to our customers to help them prepare for outages. It 16
was retweeted six times. 17
18
Nova Scotia Power also emailed all Nova Scotia MLAs and town councillors with the 19
same messaging, and provided contact information for the Government Relations contact 20
on the Communications and Public Affairs team, should they have any direct questions. 21
22
15.4 Public Communications during Arthur Response 23
24
Throughout the storm, the Communications and Public Affairs team kept media, 25
government and other stakeholders informed of progress of restoration and changes to 26
ETRs. Beginning on Saturday, J uly 5, Nova Scotia Power communicated with 27
government officials and key staff almost daily to provide updates on storm damage and 28
progress of restorations. Communications also took place with government Opposition 29
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members, executive at New Brunswick Power, and the Nova Scotia Utility and Review 1
Board. 2
3
On Saturday, the Communications and Public Affairs team responded to 27 media 4
inquiries related to Arthur. This was significantly more than past storms, and was 5
potentially related to the outage map problems detailed in Section 10.5.2. Throughout 6
Saturday, we continued to Facebook and tweet safety tips and provide information about 7
ETRs as they were posted. We also provided messaging asking customers to contact the 8
outage line to report outages or access ETR information, and apologizing for the 9
limitations to the outage map. No calls were received on Saturday by our Government 10
Relations lead from MLAs or councillors seeking information. 11
12
On Sunday, J uly 6 (Day 2), the number of media inquiries reduced significantly. Media 13
outlets are commonly at low staffing levels on Sundays. Thirteen interviews were 14
provided on request. We did an additional seven Facebook postings, 15 tweets, and 69 15
retweets. Because of the challenges with the outage map, ETRs were being 16
communicated as quickly as possible by region on Twitter and Facebook. The challenges 17
with the outage map and the phone system resulted in requests by customers on Facebook 18
for specific ETR information. As much as possible, Communications staff worked to 19
connect customers with the Customer Service team by asking customers to provide 20
contact information and then relaying this to Customer Service so they could contact 21
customers directly. Communications staff also provided ETR information to customers 22
as it was available. 23
24
On Monday, J uly 7, because of the high volume of media requests and customer contacts 25
through social media, extra resources were brought in to assist the Communications and 26
Public Affairs team. On Monday, 25 media interviews were delivered by one of two 27
designated spokespeople, along with eight Facebook posts, 18 tweets and 204 retweets. 28
This continued throughout the week until full restoration was achieved. 29
30
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On Wednesday, J uly 9, a media advisory was issued providing a media availability for 1
Bob Hanf, President and CEO of NS Power, in Port Williams, in one of the harder hits 2
areas of the province. Mr. Hanf visited with crews, provided a brief statement to 3
reporters, and answered questions from media. Four media outlets were present and CBC 4
broadcast the entire event live online. A news release was issued and Mr. Hanf thanked 5
employees for their hard work throughout the storm. Please refer to Appendix 10.1. 6
7
On Thursday, J uly 10, the Communications and Public Affairs team worked with various 8
other departments in order to post on the website and regularly update ETRs for areas 9
where smaller pockets of outages remained. This was the first time Nova Scotia Power 10
provided this type of granular information on its website. 11
12
We continued to communicate timely, relevant information for customer through media 13
interviews, Facebook and Twitter until the final restorations were completed on Saturday, 14
J uly 12. 15
16
15.5 Social Media Messaging 17
18
We generally updated Facebook and Twitter with the same messaging. Messages and 19
themes relayed included: 20
21
Providing the outage line phone number for customers to report an outage, 22
downed power line, or to find out estimated restoration times. 23
24
At times, providing our customers a link to the outage map. 25
26
Giving our customers safety tips, along with direction to avoid downed power 27
lines and encouraging them to report. 28
29
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Photos from the field that showed the extent of the damage to our equipment, and 1
fallen trees. 2
3
A diagram and explanation of what a broken meter mast looks like, and how 4
customers must have it fixed before Nova Scotia Power can restore power. 5
6
Updates on the number of restorations and crews in the field. 7
8
At points in time, we publically posted on our Facebook wall and Twitter 9
estimated restoration times for certain regions (Saturday evening). 10
11
Reminding customers that crews were working as safely as possible to quickly 12
restore power. 13
14
On Facebook, we had 143 private message interactions with customers. Our 15
Communications and Public Affairs team often liaised with Customer Service to find out 16
ETRs for our customers, and to report downed lines and trees on their behalf. 17
Throughout the storm, there were a total of 215,000 views of the Nova Scotia Power 18
Twitter page, and the height of our peak reach on Facebook occurred on J uly 7, with one 19
post reaching 16,000 people. 20
21
On Thursday, J uly 3, we had 600 Facebook friends and 9,900 Twitter followers. Our 22
social media following grew throughout the duration of the storm. From J uly 5 to 14 we 23
added 813 Facebook friends. On Twitter, between J uly 5 and 12, we gained 1,402 new 24
followers. 25
26
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15.6 Public Communications Statistics 1
2
Figure 81 provides day-by-day statistics on public communications efforts. 3
4
Figure 81: Day by Day Statistics 5
Date July 5 July 6 July 7 July 8 July 9 July 10 July 11 July 12 July 13 July 14 Totals
Media Interviews 27 13 25 22 10 6 9 3 10 2 124
Facebook Posts 12 7 8 4 5 7 3 1 1 0 48
Tweets 12 15 18 11 2 7 4 3 1 NA 73
Retweets 375 69 204 33 2 27 14 19 10 NA 753
Tomorrows Power 2 1 2 6 4 6 1 1 0 0 23
6
15.7 Government Officials and UARB 7
8
Throughout the event, Nova Scotia Power stayed in regular contact with government 9
officials in the Department of Energy, the Premiers office, opposition leaders, and 10
MLAs. A total of 133 calls and emails were logged from elected officials by the Resolve 11
Team and the Government Relations lead. On Thursday and Friday, J uly 10 and 11, 12
because of fewer media stories and general coverage, Nova Scotia Power provided daily 13
updates to all elected officials with total restorations completed, ETRs by region, and 14
information on the extent of the damage in some areas. Updates were also provided to 15
government and opposition members on the final two days of restoration, J uly 11 and 12. 16
The UARB was provided daily updates starting on Saturday, J uly 5, and continuing 17
throughout the restoration efforts. These updates provided information on number of 18
outages, extent of damage, number of crews working to restore power and updated ETRs. 19
20
15.8 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 21
22
1. Customer interaction on social media increased significantly throughout this event 23
over what we have experienced in previous storms. We will develop a social 24
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media customer service plan to better meet this new customer expectation. This 1
could potentially reduce the number of calls into the Customer Care Centre by 2
providing customers with another option for communicating with Customer 3
Service and receiving responses specific to their needs. 4
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16.0 COORDINATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES 1
2
16.1 Introduction 3
4
This section describes our interactions with provincial and municipal emergency 5
management offices and the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure 6
Renewal in preparation for, and response to, Post-Tropical Storm Arthur. 7
8
16.2 General Coordination Procedures 9
10
In all outage events, restoration priorities are set based on ensuring public safety and 11
security, followed by restoration of electricity from its source through to our customers 12
premises. Once safety hazards and Emergency Management Office (EMO) priorities are 13
addressed, efforts are focused on safely restoring the most customers as quickly as 14
possible. 15
16
During major storm events, Nova Scotia Power typically assigns EMO Coordinators to 17
report directly to the NS and HRM EMO offices, when they are open. These 18
Coordinators are responsible for managing all requests for support and service to and 19
from EMO (NS and HRM), including critical infrastructure lists, specific additional 20
resources (i.e. plows, major road clearing, etc.) and any need for Armed Forces 21
personnel. Requests for support and service will come in and out from both 22
organizations, facilitated by single points of contact on each end. 23
24
The EMO Coordinators are responsible for providing Nova Scotia Power Emergency 25
Operations Centre (EOC) with information on all requests from EMO and status updates 26
on EMO plans and activities. This includes identifying emerging issues and effective 27
strategies to respond. This will happen on conference calls and through direct contact 28
with the Storm Lead and Regional Operations Coordinator. 29
30
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The EOC is responsible for providing the EMO Coordinators with all requests for service 1
or support that require EMO action. This will happen through direct contact between the 2
Storm Lead, Regional Operations Coordinator and EMO Coordinators and on conference 3
calls. 4
5
Public communications from either organization about status of power restoration or 6
management of joint issues will be facilitated by the EMO Coordinators working with the 7
Corporate Communications Coordinator and the EMO Public Information Officers. 8
9
During storm events where Nova Scotia Power has activated its Emergency Operations 10
Centre but EMO-NS and/or HRM EMO have not, our EMO Coordinators will work from 11
our EOC to coordinate requests for support to/from the EMO contacts. Nova Scotia 12
Powers Regional Operations and Customer Service staff also have working relationships 13
with Municipal Emergency Management Coordinators. Close coordination between 14
EOC, EMO Coordinators, and regional staff with EMO responsibilities is a priority. 15
16
16.3 Coordination During Post-Tropical Storm Arthur 17
18
On the evening of J uly 4, Nova Scotia Power notified the Director of the Nova Scotia 19
Emergency Management Office (EMO-NS) that we were activating our Emergency 20
Services Restoration Plan (ESRP) and opening our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) 21
on the morning of J uly 5 in anticipation of the landfall of Arthur. At that time, on J uly 4, 22
the Director of the EMO-NS indicated they did not plan to open their EOC. The EMO- 23
NS EOC did not open throughout the duration of this event. The HRMs Emergency 24
Management Office opened its EOC at 7:45 AM Saturday, J uly 5. Nova Scotia Powers 25
HRM EMO Coordinator was onsite at the HRM EOC for duration of Saturday, attended 26
Nova Scotia Powers EOC conference calls, and provided HRM with regular updates. 27
28
Since the EMO-NS was not activated, all EMO-NS requests were handled at the Nova 29
Scotia Power EOC. 30
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1
Nova Scotia Powers Storm Lead was in regular contact with the various provincial 2
Emergency Measures Coordinators (EMCs) throughout the duration of the event. Daily 3
conference calls were held to discuss local issues and priorities. All EMO-escalated 4
issues were handled and addressed. 5
6
The absence of having the EMO-NS Emergency Operations Centre open led to 7
communication gaps between other agencies, such as the Department of Transportation 8
and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) and Nova Scotia Power. In a storm the size of Arthur, 9
the EMO-NS typically would have handled contact between the Nova Scotia Power EOC 10
and TIR. For example, inquiries related to critical customers and road closure issues 11
were being delivered to the Nova Scotia Powers EOC and presented as emergencies 12
needing urgent attention. In some cases, these issues had already been resolved, or were 13
actually not urgent, taking valuable outage restoration resources away from their work. 14
15
Regional Comfort Centres were setup by several municipalities and local fire stations 16
across parts of western Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Power directly provided these 17
communities with restoration estimates and progress reports to assist in locating, opening 18
and closing these centres. 19
20
16.4 Learnings, Recommendations and Actions 21
22
1. Information flow and support could be better coordinated if EMO-NS activated its 23
Emergency Operations Centre in conjunction with Nova Scotia Powers EOC. 24
25
2. The Critical Care Customer list and process should be reviewed to ensure a 26
common understanding between all agencies as to who is (and who is not) a 27
critical customer. 28
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17.0 LEARNINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTIONS 1
2
17.1 Introduction 3
4
This section summarizes the key learnings, recommendations, and actions found in the 5
Executive Summary and throughout the report. 6
7
17.2 Preparation for Storm 8
9
1. The actual winds recorded in the province were much higher than forecast, and 10
even higher in the Valley than the conservative estimates used in planning. Scotia 11
Weather Services has conducted a detailed review to determine the cause of the 12
significant inaccuracies in its forecast, particularly with regard to the wind speeds 13
experienced across Nova Scotia. Please refer to Appendix 3.31. The actual wind 14
gusts in the Valley on Saturday, J uly 5, were 74 percent higher than Scotia 15
Weather Services forecasted. 16
17
2. In the days following Arthur, Nova Scotia Power ran the Scenario Planning 18
Model using the actual wind speeds recorded on J uly 5. The model made an 19
accurate prediction of the actual number of customers affected and the crew hours 20
required to restore power. 21
22
3. The high winds during Arthur in the Valley led to multiple 69 kV transmission 23
line outages. While we prepare extensively for transmission outages, as detailed 24
in Section 6, our Scenario Planning Model does not model transmission outages 25
or restoration times, because wind storms primarily cause distribution outages. 26
We will update our model to predict both distribution and transmission outages 27
together. 28
29
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17.3 Restoring Power 1
2
1. We have recognized through previous storms that damage assessment is critical. 3
However, in storms with winds like those experienced in Arthur, having more 4
Damage Assessors pre-staged would help us gain an accurate assessment of the 5
damage in a shorter time frame. 6
7
2. During restoration after Arthur, there were instances where tree crews were 8
dispatched to clear roads that were already clear. We will seek to work with the 9
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to develop definitions 10
of different levels of road closures, appropriate response protocols, and timely 11
sharing of information. This protocol could be managed via Emergency 12
Management Offices. 13
14
3. To improve reliability in major storms it is essential to establish clear rights-of- 15
way on power lines. Nova Scotia Power requires a greater public support for 16
obtaining desired clearances from power lines. 17
18
Greater public support should allow increased trim clearances to 19
attain a less-frequent maintenance cycle and an increased 20
probability of capturing branches that are prone to failure during 21
major storm events. 22
23
Greater public support should allow Nova Scotia Power to increase 24
expenditures for vegetation management within the right-of-way 25
asset renewal program and increase the amount of hazard tree 26
removal projects to ensure that: all rights-of-way are re-established 27
to a desired width within a fixed time frame; and hazard trees 28
associated with those rights-of-way can be mitigated. 29
30
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17.4 Vegetation Management 1
2
1. We seek support from the Board, the Department of Transportation and 3
Infrastructure Renewal and other stakeholders for the creation and maintenance of 4
tree-free rights-of-way, as set out in ANSI Standard A300, the generally accepted 5
industry standard. 6
7
2. We urge the appropriate government authorities to prohibit the planting of trees 8
that are in conflict with power lines. 9
10
3. We will seek permission to have prescriptive rights to remove off right-of-way 11
hazard trees threatening power lines, as identified by qualified, trained vegetation 12
management experts. 13
14
4. We will work with woodland harvest operators and the Nova Scotia Department 15
of Natural Resources to establish a process that would require forest harvests 16
being conducted adjacent to power lines to be reported to a registry. This would 17
ensure we are made aware of newly created hazard trees. 18
19
17.5 Customer Communications 20
21
1. Nova Scotia Power is reviewing our contact methods with critical care customers 22
to determine if there are additional methods to reach this customer group. 23
24
2. We have initiated discussions with government and non-government agencies that 25
may be able to expand the services to this customer group, especially during 26
larger events. 27
28
3. Nova Scotia Powers ETR strategy was implemented after the November 2004 ice 29
storm, and has been successfully employed during numerous storms since then. 30
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However, practices in ETR strategies have been evolving among North American 1
electric utilities that are exposed to severe weather. We recommend that Nova 2
Scotia Power work with the UARBs consultant (who has experience in this area) 3
to further examine our ETR strategy, current best practices, and bring forward any 4
changes to the ETR strategy that would be in the best interest of customers 5
including any potential changes to the telephone systems. 6
7
4. We are in the process of increasing the capacity of our website to handle a greater 8
number of outage requests per hour, with a speed of delivery of five seconds or 9
less. 10
11
5. We will build a customer communications plan to help better inform customers on 12
outage restoration and communications during future large storm events. 13
14
6. We are updating the scripting and process flows for power outage customer 15
communications, focused on customers impacted by outage events of fewer than 16
100 customers. 17
18
7. Customer interaction on social media increased significantly throughout this event 19
over what we have experienced in previous storms. We will develop a social 20
media customer service plan to better meet this new customer expectation. This 21
could potentially reduce the number of calls into the Customer Care Centre by 22
providing customers with another option for communicating with Customer 23
Service and receiving responses specific to their needs. 24
25
17.6 Coordination With Other Agencies 26
27
1. Information flow and support could be better coordinated if EMO-NS activated its 28
Emergency Operations Centre in conjunction with Nova Scotia Powers EOC. 29
30
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2. The Critical Care Customer list and process should be reviewed to ensure a 1
common understanding between all agencies as to who is (and who is not) a 2
critical customer. 3