Bangor Hydro Asks the Public to Help Identify Suspects in Substation Break-in
September 08, 2009 - TRC - By Susan E. Faloon, Communications Officer
Bangor, ME— Bangor Hydro Electric Company is asking the media and the public to assist in apprehending two men suspected in a recent substation break-in. Surveillance cameras discovered the break-in. A photo from one of the cameras was shared with local media in a press conference today in an effort to help in identifying the suspects.
Substation break-ins usually occur in an attempt to steal copper wire. Tampering with substations and high-voltage equipment places the thieves, Company employees, and members of the public at risk.
“The value of copper continues to be high and Bangor Hydro Electric Company has experienced sporadic break-ins at several high voltage electrical substations during the past several years,” said Safety Officer John Greaves.
To address the rise in copper theft, Bangor Hydro increased surveillance and patrol inspections of its substations in recent years and installed surveillance equipment at select locations.
“Not only is it illegal to tamper with substations or to steal copper wire, but the thieves could face injury or even death,” said Greaves. “In addition, our employees could face injury from damaged equipment that they don’t know has been compromised.”
Power lines and substations operate at high voltages, as high as 345,000 volts. That’s 3000 times that of the outlets in your house," said Bangor Hydro Executive Vice President of Operations Gerry Chasse.
Replacement of stolen copper is not only costly, but usually results in customer outages to perform the necessary repair work.
The public is asked to report any suspicious activity or knowledge of the break-in to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department at 947-4585.
Bangor Hydro-Electric Company (BHE) is an electric utility wholly-owned by Emera Inc. BHE serves a population of 192,000 in an area encompassing 5,275 square miles in eastern and east coastal Maine. BHE is a member of the New England Power Pool and is interconnected with other New England utilities to the south and with the New Brunswick Power Corp. to the north. Visit us at www.bhe.com.
Emera Inc. (EMA-TSX) is an energy and services company with $4.7 billion in assets. Electricity is Emera's core business. The company has two wholly-owned regulated electric utility subsidiaries, Nova Scotia Power Inc. and Bangor Hydro-Electric Company, which together serve 600,000 customers. Emera also owns 19% of St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited, which serves more than 50,000 customers on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and 25% of Grand Bahama Power Company which serves 19,000 customers on the Caribbean island of Grand Bahama. In addition to its electric utility investments, Emera has a joint venture interest in Bear Swamp, a 600 megawatt pumped storage hydro-electric facility in northern Massachusetts; a 12.9% interest in the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline; a 7.4% interest in Open Hydro and Emera Energy Services which manages energy assets on behalf of third parties. Visit Emera on the web at www.emera.com.
NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.