NPEI 2024 Capital Budget Program
The NPEI Capital Budget continues to follow a total spend format focused on projects driven from established programs to prioritize NPEI resources in an efficient and beneficial manor to our Customers. These programs of Pole Testing & Inspections, Pad-mounted Equipment Inspections, Sub-station Maintenance & Inspections, Manhole & Sidewalk Vault Inspections and Kiosk Inspections along with monitoring of reliability statistics and outage causes, drive the prioritization of Rebuild, Reinforcement, Voltage Conversion and Minor System Betterments projects. Customer growth needs drive Subdivision Connections, and Demand Based System Expansions for Commercial Development.
This capital program manages an allowance for the construction and upgrade of the distribution system to facilitate system access for new connections. System expansions and reinforcement costs are included within this budget allowance.
Kalar Feed to Hospital Phase I
This Capital Project is phase one of three for a multi-year venture that is expected to be completed in 2024. The current design is to utilize the new switchgear installed at Kalar Transmission Station (2021) and to construct two new 13.8kV feeders that will run along Kalar Road to Brown Road then along Brown Road to Montrose Road then down to Biggar Road and the new hospital. Total feeder length is approximately 6.5km. This will be able to accommodate the new hospital load and also provide approximately 5MVA of additional capacity in the area for additional load growth. The existing 13.8kV feeder which presently supplies this area will also be maintained. Project phasing is dependent on completion of third party road designs and site designs. Originally scheduled for start in the 2022 budget year, delays in final road widening design and selecting of the civil contractor by the Region has resulted in a delay of the start of this first phase of the project. NPEI has agreed to coordinate the existing feeder relocation and new feeder build along Montrose Road with the Regions civil contractor due to the significant changes taking place along this stretch of road. This phase covers the portion of feeder line work on Montrose Road South of the Welland River to Biggar Road.
Kalar Feed to Hospital Phase 2
This Capital Project is phase two of three for a multi-year venture that is expected to be completed in 2024. The current design is to utilize the new switchgear installed at Kalar Transmission Station (2021) and to construct two new 13.8kV feeders that will run along Kalar Road to Brown Road then along Brown Road to Montrose Road then down to Biggar Road and the new hospital. Total feeder length is approximately 6.5km. This will be able to accommodate the new hospital load and also provide approximately 5MVA of additional capacity in the area additional load growth. The existing 13.8kV feeder which presently supplies this area will also be maintained. This phase of the project covers the egress of the two new feeders from Kalar Transmission Station and the feeder line build along Kalar Road to Brown Road.
Kalar Feed to Hospital Phase 3
This Capital Project is phase three of three for a multi-year venture that is expected to be completed in 2025. The current design is to utilize the new switchgear installed at Kalar Transmission Station (2021) and to construct two new 13.8kV feeders that will run along Kalar Road to Brown Road then along Brown Road to Montrose Road then down to Biggar Road and the new hospital. Total feeder length is approximately 6.5km. This will be able to accommodate the new hospital load and also provide approximately 5MVA of additional capacity in the area additional load growth. The existing 13.8kV feeder which presently supplies this area will also be maintained. This phase of the project covers two double circuit pole lines from Kalar Road along Brown Road to Montrose and along Montrose Road from Brown Road south to the Welland River.
This capital project captures the lot rebates paid annually to subdivision developers as reimbursement for development servicing costs based on the number of lots connected in the previous year. Lot rebates are paid annually based on the number of lots connected up to a maximum of 5 years following subdivision energization.
Metering – General
This Capital Program covers the cost of installing and replacing metering equipment and facilities on the distribution system.
Metering – Sampling
This Capital Program covers the cost of annual sampling programs that are performed to extend the seal life of the meter population.
Road Relocation - Pole Relocations Due to Municipal Road Improvements
This Capital Program allowance is for the relocation/construction of distribution facilities to resolve conflicts with planned road works by local road authorities as per NPEI obligations under the Public Service Works on Highway Act (PSWH). This Act requires utilities to relocate their plant and share the financial burden with the requesting authority. The most common Cost Sharing agreement is the Road Authority assumes 50% of the labour and labour-savings devices with the utility assuming the remainder of the cost including 100% of the material cost.
Subdivision Connections (Lots)
This Capital Program manages the installation and connection of new residential services within new and on-going residential developments.
Subdivision Connections (Developments)
This Capital Program manages the installation and connection of new residential developments such as subdivisions.
Transfer of Expansion Facilities
Transfer of distribution system facilities installed by third parties under new residential development projects.
Concession #2 Road - Line Rebuild and Relocate
This capital project involves the rebuild of a 42 pole, overhead rural distribution circuit along Concession 2 Road between Abingdon Road and Caistor Center Road which was built in the 1950s. The rebuild and relocation of poles to the road allowance following current approved standards will provide for continued safe and reliable operation of this infrastructure. Replacement of end of life transformers will help to reduce system losses and improve efficiency with the remaining newer transformers being reused.
Kiosk Replacement Program
Prior to the advent of pad-mounted Transformer & Switchgear Equipment, loads that were too large for pole mounted equipment, or areas serviced from underground primary distribution systems, were supplied by masonry enclosures housing high voltage transformation, switching & protection apparatus, and secondary distribution equipment, known as the Kiosk. These block structures were meant to provide Public Safety but over time, the structures deteriorate and warrant replacement. These are prioritized utilizing the results of a 5-year Conditional Assessment Survey last completed in 2023. This Capital Program is an integral part of the remediation of underground distribution systems, increasing longevity and reliability within the area serviced. As these legacy components are replaced, safety, reliability and service quality are significantly improved. For 2024 the plan is to replace approximately 13 units.
Pole Replacement Program
The natural degradation of wooden utility poles is an ongoing issue. NPEI performs a site visit of every distribution pole on the System as per OEB requirements (3 yrs./urban, 6 yrs./rural), with a total population of over 25,000. Poles are tested for their integrity and a visual inspection is performed of the equipment installed on the pole by qualified Linesmen. The pole is imaged, guy guards are installed & down grounds are repaired/replaced as required and the inspection results and images are stored within the Geographical Information System (GIS). An evaluation of the results is performed, with deficiencies addressed by the replacement of deficient poles, in a timely manner, through this Capital Program.
Polemount Transformer Replacement Program
This Capital Program manages an allowance for the replacement of pole mount transformers that have been identified through the overhead equipment inspections or other means as being at end of life. In the past, these transformers have been changed under various other projects. Creating this new program will enable better tracking of both the quantity of transformers changed and the associated costs.
Regional Road #65 Rebuild – Phase 2
This capital project is multi-year project that involves creating a main loop on the 27.6kV system in West Lincoln from Abingdon Road to Bismark. Phase 2 includes the rebuild and voltage conversion from 8kV to 27.6kV along Regional Road #65 (aka Silver Street) from Caistor Centre Road to Smithville Road. Benefits include replacement of aging equipment, improved voltage levels and increased system reliability.
Station #10 Demolition
In 2023 the low voltage switchgear at Station #10 was replaced with a new padmounted switchgear that the existing gear and building obsolete. The gear was removed from the building in 2023 and in 2024 the building is scheduled for demolition.
Station #14 and #23 Decommissioning
This capital project is a continuation of previous voltage conversion that have left station #14 and #23 obsolete. Both sites will have all equipment removed and scrapped. Station #23 site will be restored as per municipal requirements. Station #14 site will remain as a fenced yard.
Subdivision Rehabilitation Program
This capital program manages the replacement of direct buried primary & secondary conductors supplying residential services. This plant dates back to the 1950s and has been identified during recent Asset Condition Assessments as having reached end of life. As well this plant is unable to accommodate today's electrical demands such as EVs. This program facilitates future rebuild by the installation with the installation of new conduit. Existing cable would be "run to failure", at which time new cable would be installed utilizing these new conduits.
Mini-Padmount Small Transformer Replacement Program
This Capital Program manages an allowance for the replacement or refurbishment of small padmount transformers that have been identified through the padmount equipment inspections or other means as being at end of life. In the past, these transformers have been changed under various other projects. Creating this new program will enable better tracking of both the quantity of transformers changed and the associated costs. For 2024 the plan is to replace 5 units.
Switchgear Replacement Program
The Underground Equipment Inspection Program has identified a requirement for replacement of air insulated pad-mounted switchgear units, with dead-front stainless steel enclosure SF-6 Gas Insulated Equipment, due to corrosion and contamination issues. Project scope involves the installation of applicable civil works such as manholes and duct- banks associated with the equipment replacement to current standards and installation of new switchgear constructed of Stainless Steel to avoid corrosion issues. Increased system reliability, Public & Personnel safety, and functionality are benefits of the program.
This Capital Program manages an allowance for minor projects initiated by unexpected failures or identified deficiencies of overhead and underground distribution facilities. Replacement of underground cable experiencing repeated failures is a major contributor covered by this allowance. Minor overhead system modifications and component replacements to improve system reliability and performance are also completed under this program.
Lundy's Lane Feeder Extension
This capital project includes extending the existing feeder from pole 74-9 west to Thorold Townline Road. This new feeder will provide a connection point future developments at the corner of Thorold Townline Road and Lundy's Lane.
New Transmission Station Planning
Development of the Niagara Integrated Regional Resource Plan was initiated in August 2021 by the Independent Electricity System Operator following the publication of the Needs Assessment report in May 2021 by Hydro One and the Scoping Assessment Outcome Report in August 2021 by the IESO. NPEI participated in the working group for the Integrated Regional Resource Plan process in which pending capacity constraints were identified for the Lincoln, West-Lincoln & Grimsby area as well as the Welland, South Niagara Falls areas. The IRRP recommends load transfers in the short term to manage capacity needs. Long term, additional capacity will be required in the form of additional transformer station capacity in these areas. This project is to capture the cost of the necessary studies and planning activities to facilitate the construction of future needed stations in NPEI territory.