Squirrels, raccoons, birds, snakes, and other animals cause substation outages in urban, suburban and remote locations across North America each year — and those outages are expensive.
The cost to utility companies alone for recovering from animal-related outages is estimated at between $15 million and $18 million per year. And when commercial entities and consumer frustration are taken into consideration, the overall cost of these outages can stretch well into the billions of dollars.
Substation managers have explored a variety of solutions to prevent these destructive intrusions: pole wraps, line guards, cover-ups and more. Even so, many substations still experience outages when animals are allowed to move around unchecked within a substation.
Here are some examples of issues that animals have caused at substations.