Maintaining regular power supply to the farms in Wafra and Abdali during winter season has always posed a great challenge for the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) teams in spite of the efforts that have been exerted in this area because as soon as there is a downpour farmers’ complaints abound about repeated power interruptions, which in turn affect crops and all forms of life in those areas.

The sources told Al-Qabas two types of lines pass through the farms — one of them is the high-voltage lines that pass through those farms to supply electric current from power stations to different residential areas, and from the main transformer stations located in the same farms areas to receive it from secondary power stations, which follow the distribution networks sector that feeds these farms through overhead power lines as well, but they are of medium voltage (11 kV).

The process of maintaining power lines, whether high or medium voltage, is a headache for electricity officials because of the irregularities that the farmer is experiencing that affects the efficiency of these lines and often hinders the completion of maintenance work as required.

At the forefront of these problems is the aggression shown by farm owners against the deprivation of electrical lines and cultivation of the area below, and then the difficulty of accessing high voltage towers in many cases, in addition to trees touching medium voltage lines and causing them to disconnect the current many times.

According to the Head of the Overhead Lines Maintenance Department in the Transportation Networks Sector, Eng. Ahmed Al-Enezi, the maintenance teams face a big problem in inserting equipment under the lines to detect them, and it comes to the intransigence of some farm owners who sometimes object when digging work is involved, because in some cases, the tiles get cracked or due to the non-availability of similar installation equipment with the ministry.

Al-Enezi added the obstacles extend to irrigation networks near the high-voltage electricity areas, which contain meters, and sensitive equipment that gets damaged and the need to replace them from time to time.

According to the sources, the main crisis in the farms is due to the division of a single license into more than one farm in earlier times, and then the expansion of construction work and the resulting increase in loads that put great pressure on the network.

In the distribution networks sector, a well-informed source said that during the past two years, the ministry had set up an infringement team to take over the process of cutting trees near the medium voltage lines and removing infringements to prevent power outages.

The source pointed out that theft is one of the major problems facing the ministry, as thieves use cars to pull the wooden poles and knock them to the ground, and then rob the copper conductors, noting that knocking one pole is followed by the fall of all poles.

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