An underwater cable that provides power to Vancouver Island has been taken out of commision after it was found to be damaged along with two other cables, prompting BC Hydro to warn large industrial customers they may have to reduce their usage.
The Crown corporation’s monitoring system detected a bulge and oil leak in one of the cables, which connects the island to the Sunshine Coast, on Thursday July 8.
The cable was taken out of service and repairs are underway, but over the weekend, BC Hydro discovered bulging in two other underwater cables.
That led the company to reduce the load on the cables while monitoring their performance.
BC Hydro says the extreme heat wave that swept over the province late last month may have caused the damage.
For now, BC Hydro is using available generation capacity on the island as well as independent power producers to meet customer demand and so far, customers have not yet been affected.
But the company’s largest industrial customers are being informed of the damage to the cables “in the event they need to reduce load in the future,” BC Hydro said in a statement.
Other contingency plans are in place in case BC Hydro needs to further reduce demand on the island, it said.