Northwest utility tries to curb copper thefts

Nov 04, 2011 | 03:11 PM | Chris Prentice

Tags  copper wire, copper-clad steel, copper-coated steel, bonnevile power administration, copper theft, chris prentice

NEW YORK — Weary of replacing stolen copper wire, a Pacific Northwest power supplier plans to replace copper wire in its substations with a steel-copper combination.

The Portland, Ore.-based Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) plans to replace all the copper wire grounding equipment at its approximately 270 power substations with a steel wire clad with a thin layer of copper to increase its electrical conductivity, a company spokesman told AMM.

The copper-clad wire costs about the same as its copper counterpart as it is thicker overall, but the cost savings will come from no longer having to replace copper wire stolen by thieves taking advantage of high prices, the spokesman said.....

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