A significant development in Grand Bahama required a new 22 mile [35.4 km] 69kV line to be built. With frequent hurricane exposure, the project needed to push the limits of accepted overhead line storm resilience to reliably deliver service to the west end of the island.
The island location presented many project challenges. Because of hurricanes, salt spray and soil pH corrosion of steel and concrete poles as well as logistical challenges and costly material handling, PowerON composite poles were selected as the best solution. Up to 65 ft. [19.8 m] lightweight, inert, and modular nesting composite poles can fit into standard sized 40 ft. intermodal shipping containers. Furthermore, PowerON poles have an 80-year service life, requires no scheduled maintenance, and are covered by a 41-year warranty.
In 2016, Grand Bahama was hit by Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm with winds of 140 mph [62.6 m/s]. The island’s west end took a direct hit and about 10% of the island’s poles were downed, over 2,300 wood poles. As the restoration efforts continued, there was one observation that became clearer: the PowerON composite poles had stood strong during the hurricane.
On September 1st, 2019, Category 5 Dorian, packing wind gusts to 220 mph [98.3 m/s]. Dorian’s slow pace of 25 miles [40 km] in 24 hours resulted in damage of $7 billion. 1,000's of wood poles were lost. A text message from Grand Bahama Power Vice President, Frank Woodworth, confirmed that the PowerON composite poles had survived… "again."
PowerON composite poles mitigate the threat of hurricane damage and speed restoration efforts because the poles stand strong.