Cable replacement increases system reliability

Power Line Replacement

A few years ago, Prevention magazine published an article titled, “50 things that get better with age.” Love, seasonal allergies and leather boots are apparently the top three things that can improve over time. I searched but did not find a follow-up article titled, “50 things that get worse with age.” If they had drafted one, the list might have included cracking knees, sensitive teeth — and much further down the list — power line cable.

Every year, your electric cooperative budgets to replace aging infrastructure including power lines and poles. The weather contributes to wear and tear on our electric distribution system, and a particular stretch of line may not be as reliable as when it was first built. Age contributes to the decline, as well. Just as eyesight becomes less sharp over time, older infrastructure may not perform as well, and it eventually needs to be updated or replaced.

In September, one Capital Electric Cooperative line crew updated a small stretch of underground cable in northwest Bismarck. This summer, members in the area had experienced some power bumps and blinks, which indicated a fault in the line. Installed in 1977, the cable was starting to go bad. Journeyman Linemen Jeremy Ensign, Matt Hagen and Braden Martin worked together to trench and lay new cable and route it to a riser pole, which connects the underground and overhead power lines. Like most technology that improves with age, this cable will likely last longer than the nearly 40 years of the now-retired cable.

If you want to know if love deepens over time, we suggest looking into the eyes of your family pet for the answer. If you want to know if your allergies will improve as you age, consult your family physician. If you want to know if leather boots improve with use, you can certainly ask your favorite lineman at Capital Electric Cooperative. They wear them every day on the job, as they work to build and maintain the electric distribution system that provides affordable and reliable service to our member-owners.

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