Electrical Business

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Hydro One is making itself “less attractive”… to thieves!


August 27, 2014
By Anthony Capkun


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August 27, 2014 – About $2-million worth of copper is stolen from Hydro One annually, says the utility, which is why it is embarking upon a plan that will see the use of composite groundings with “no scrap metal value”.

“By making changes to the way we operate, we can deter metal theft,” said Ron Gentle, chief security officer, Hydro One.

Going forward, when the company undertakes maintenance work and upgrades at its stations, the new groundings installed will be made of a copper and steel composite rather than pure copper. Signage will be posted at stations alerting would-be thieves that this composite has no scrap value.

Hydro One explains that, when copper is stolen from a station, it compromises the electrical system, resulting in outages, costly repairs and, most importantly, can cause severe injuries and death—not only to those committing the crime, but also to employees, law enforcement officers responding to the scene and, potentially, the public.

Scott Tod, deputy commissioner and provincial commander of Ontario Provincial Police’s (OPP) Investigations and Organized Crime applauds Hydro One’s “initiatives aimed at ensuring its assets are less attractive to the criminal element in the future, thereby enhancing public and officer safety.”

Hydro One owns and operates Ontario’s 29,000-km high-voltage transmission network, and a 123,000-km low-voltage distribution system that serves about 1.3 million end users. It is owned by the province.