Wabush Terminal Station: Powering Labrador West

The Wabush Terminal Station Team (L to R) Barry Hillier (Electrical Operator), Maxwell Rogers (Electrical Operator), Aiden Kennedy (Electrical Operator), and Christopher Tobin (Protection & Control Technologist). Missing from photo: Ben Faulkner (Electrical Protection & Control Supervisor, HVGB).

For over 60 years the Wabush Terminal Station has been converting hydroelectricity from Churchill Falls into power that can be delivered to our industrial and residential customers in western Labrador.

The team who keeps the station up and running includes three electrical operators and a protection and control technologist on site, as well as a protection and control electrical supervisor located in HVGB. That’s a small, but extremely competent team, as this is the primary power hub for the entire Labrador West region, including the towns of Wabush, and Labrador City, as well as major industrial customers such as IOCC and Tacora Mines.

The average work day can change drastically depending on mining operations, residential power demand and the changing seasons but, primarily, the Wabush Terminal Station team is responsible for maintaining and operating all of the equipment at this location. This includes daily inspections, monitoring the power system, completing repairs, interacting with mining operations and sometimes travelling to other stations in the area when needed.

Operating at 385 MW the Wabush Terminal Station consists of 13 transformers, 13 feeders, three synchronous condensers, three capacitor banks and two 230 kV lines that run over 300 km from Churchill Falls to feed into the station.

During maintenance season, the days are busier than ever as the team works to complete scheduled maintenance work, capital work projects and any new equipment installations that will help maintain our equipment and support the sustainable management of these important assets into the future. In fact, a large, recurring annual maintenance project takes place out of this terminal station. It involves two extended outages to customers in the region – one in June, the other in September – which are critical to ensuring we are able to safely complete vital maintenance, refurbishment and upgrades to this system. This work, which helps ensure we can provide reliable power to customers in western Labrador, requires an extensive amount of planning and coordination across a number of our teams, as well as working closely with local municipalities, stakeholders and businesses in the area.

When challenges do arise, such as power outages or equipment concerns, the team is always ready to respond – and always proud to safely provide clean, reliable power to their communities.

Thanks to the Wabush Terminal Station team for all the work, they do to provide energy our customers can count on!