MEA Addresses Older Subdivisions with Cable Rejuvenation, Trains Own Team on Process
Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) found that even subdivisions with well-laid cable were experiencing increasing faults with the stress of multiple freezes each year, so the utility decided to try cable injection to restore reliable service. Now, the Novinium-trained MEA staff can do the work so efficiently that MEA plans to continue using cable injection year-round.
The Company and the Situation:
MEA is a member-owned cooperative that serves more than 60,000 customers through 4,200+ miles of underground power lines in tough Alaskan terrain. Several older subdivisions within MEA’s service area in Eagle River were experiencing an increasing number of cable faults even though the original cable was installed by the book: the cables were bedded in sand and proper cable separation was maintained. These faults always increased in the colder weather when the frost level reached the depth of the buried cable.
These increasing failures were a significant problem, since these subdivisions were right next to the substation. When there was a fault, not only did one subdivision go dark, but many customers further down the line also lost power.
MEA knew that there were a lot of splices of unknown quality and remaining life. So, they decided to use the Novinium® Sustained Pressure Rejuvenation (SPR) method to rejuvenate the cables and replace all of the splices.