West Coast clocks displayed incorrect times for about a week last October and are set to do the same thing again next week as BC Hydro works to complete upgrades to its Great Central Lake Substation from June 27-30. (Westerly file photo)

West Coast clocks displayed incorrect times for about a week last October and are set to do the same thing again next week as BC Hydro works to complete upgrades to its Great Central Lake Substation from June 27-30. (Westerly file photo)

Hydro work set to disrupt clocks in Tofino and Ucluelet

BC Hydro is warning West Coasters not to trust their clocks next week

BC Hydro is warning West Coasters not to trust their clocks next week.

Hydro crews are scheduled to begin working on a transmission line that connects the Great Central Lake substation to Port Alberni and the line will need to be de-energized in order for that work to be completed from June 27-30.

That means the West Coast’s electricity will be temporarily supplied directly from Ash River Generating Station.

“It is called islanding – isolating a particular station or group of customers from the rest of the grid. It happens from time to time and is one of the ways BC Hydro keeps the power on during maintenance work and power outages,” Hydro spokesperson Karla Louwers told the Westerly News via email.

She explained that the normal Hydro grid operates at 60 Hertz, but minor variations occur when an area is ‘islanded,’ most notably resulting in wonky clocks.

“This variation does not damage electronics, but clocks will run slower if the system is operating below 60 Hertz, or faster if operating above 60 Hertz,” the spokesperson wrote.

“While crews are completing the work, from June 27 to June 30, customers can expect some minor inaccuracy in clocks plugged into electrical power outlets, a loss or gain of about 5 minutes a day until the transmission system is reconnected and integrated to the system on June 30.”

The Ash River Generating Station is a 28 megawatt facility near Great Central Lake that contributes roughly 6 per cent of Hydro’s hydroelectric generation on Vancouver Island.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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