PUBLIC SAFETY ALERT: Vandals risk lives to steal copper wire from Western Avalon Substation in Chapel Arm

May 30, 2024

Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) are very concerned with a recent act of vandalism and theft at the Western Avalon Terminal Station in Chapel Arm. This alarming incident has been reported to the RCMP.

Vandals recently broke into the substation where both utilities have electrical equipment by cutting through the fence and stole copper grounding wire connected to energized high-voltage equipment.

Illegally entering a substation and tampering with the high-voltage electricity system is an extremely dangerous activity. Contact with exposed high-voltage equipment can result in serious injury or death. It creates serious safety risks not only for the vandals, but for employees, contractors, and to the general public.

Electrical grounding is a very important part of the electrical equipment’s protection system because it drains away unwanted buildup of electrical charge and keeps energy at a constant voltage – reducing the risk of electrical shock. When grounding wire is tampered with or removed, it makes it extremely dangerous for employees to enter a substation to make repairs.

Both utilities are seeing an alarming trend with an increase in the number of break ins at their high-voltage facilities over recent weeks. Newfoundland Power and Hydro are working closely with the RCMP and the public are urged to contact the RCMP if they have any information regarding this act of vandalism or witness suspicious activity near electrical equipment and facilities. Always obey all safety signs and warnings around electrical facilities and equipment.


For further information, please contact:

Michele Coughlan
Manager, Public Affairs
Newfoundland Power
(709) 737-2821 / Cell (709) 682-1470

Jill Pitcher
Team Lead, Public Affairs
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
(709) 737-1219 / Cell (709) 689-9938