Over 9000 Electric Utility poles replaced and rehabilitated in 2020







Another 7700 targeted for stronger grid in 2021

March 19, 2021

JPS teams carried out a massive  effort, replacing and rehabilitating over 9000 poles across the island in 2020. Facing the increased activity of the hurricane season, parish and transmission teams redoubled their efforts with greater priority placed on reliability and structural integrity initiatives. Teams ultimately rehabilitated a total of 5597 and replaced another 4103 poles over the period.

Overall asset management and preventative maintenance initiatives are top priorities in the company’s service reliability pursuits. These initiatives directly translate to an improved experience for the customer.  The lifespan of a utility pole is 25 years on average. While this average is used as a general benchmark, poles are continually assessed as different variables impact the lifespan of a pole. Some poles which exhibit moderate degradation upon assessment, can be rehabilitated rather than replaced, thus extending their lifespan up to another 15 years.

Environmental factors may accelerate pole degradation, as well as third party incidents such as physical impacts from motor vehicle accidents. While Jamaica did not experience the direct impact of a hurricane in the 2020 season, significant flooding, land slippage, and damage to the land was observed across the island, which also impacted sections of the electrical grid. The company’s future planning at this stage, takes into consideration the likelihood of increasingly active hurricane seasons within the context of climate change.

For 2021 the company has set new targets for its asset management and preventative maintenance programmes, with another 7700 poles to be addressed this year. Additional grid modernization initiatives and engineering projects are also being prioritized to further improve the network. Senior Vice President of Energy Delivery, Blaine Jarrett notes that, “Reliability, rather than a destination, is a journey. We are continuing in 2021 to strengthen our infrastructure towards making it more resilient and smart to ensure that our customers across this nation are served to the best of our ability.”

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