Hydro One held an open house in Minden Tuesday night to talk about its planned expansion of the Minden Transformer Station starting mid-June.
Manager of projects Gianni DiFilippo told The Highlander it’s a $33-million investment. He added it would both improve reliability to existing customers and support future growth.
In a community notice sent out to affected residents, Hydro One’s community relations officer said that much of their transmission system was built in the 1950s and is in need of investment.
Melissa Raby said that in Minden, once complete, the Hydro One expansion will provide much-needed electrical capacity for the Minden and Haliburton areas.
The station is located on Haliburton County Rd 21 in Minden Hills.
“Investments in the system today will help protect the public, ensure reliability and offset far more costly work in the future,” Raby said.
Included in the work is: Installation of the new T1 transformer in its permanent location on the northwest side of the station; tree removal on Hydro One’s property and extension of the station’s fence by approximately 0.28 hectare; installation of the new T2 transformer and associated equipment; installation of two new buildings which will house critical electrical communication equipment and removal of the old T2 transformer and associated equipment.
The utility also announced that the trees they have to remove will be going to Heat Bank Haliburton County. Spokeswoman Tina Jackson said it would represent about one-quarter of what they need for a year.
Work will be done primarily with equipment such as bucket trucks, all-terrain vehicles and heavy machinery.
“We understand construction can be disruptive and we appreciate your patience while we complete this important work,” Raby said. DiFilippo added residents would get a lot of notice before any planned disruptions.
The transformer was the site of a major fire on July 26, 2018 that knocked out power to 20,000 homes. The blaze caused significant damage to the station’s T1 transformer, which is a critical piece of infrastructure. Throughout the remaining months of 2018, staff worked to safely remove the damaged equipment and install a temporary replacement transformer.
Work is expected to be completed by March 2021.