Preventing Losses Due to Wildlife Contacts in Electrical Substations


By Steven Wickman, PE
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Intrusion of wildlife into electric substations is a problem experienced by electric utilities worldwide. In the United States, substation outages caused by wildlife contacts create a financial impact of approximately $20 to $30 billion annually based upon recent EPRI research. This impact is the combination of costs to customers as well as cost to utilities of restoration and repair. Thus, the utilities investment costs for installation of wildlife contact prevention can go a long way. According to the IEEE standard 1264 Guide for Animal Mitigation in Substations survey, the top three culprits are squirrels, birds and raccoons.

As distribution voltage facilities, typically 34kV down to 4kV, have close spacing between conductors and insulators we focus our mitigation efforts on these facilities. Unfortunately, this also is where outages most directly affect your customers. Thus, focusing on wildlife contacts in substations can cut cost, improve your performance indices, and improve customer relations. And then, drilling down further, focusing on squirrels (small mammals), birds, and raccoons (large mammals) will make a difference in your wildlife mitigation efforts.

Read full article in the Special POWER SYSTEM RELIABILITY Issue 2020

Lehman Electrical Resources advertisement in the issue: “No Climbing. No Landing. No Outages!”

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