New gear for Aldergrove naval radio station
At Naval Radio Station Aldergrove, power is everything. The site, in conjunction with transmitters in Matsqui, is part of the CFB Esquimalt detachment, providing long-range radio communications to air and naval forces in the Canadian Pacific and Arctic.
A single power outage and cut in communication could be devastating, which is why officials are concerned about the increasingly aging electrical systems used on the site.
In response, the federal government is now providing $1.1 million to Naval Radio Station Aldergrove for an electrical systems upgrade that will replace the vintage equipment from the 1970s.
The project includes a new 450 kW generator with an automatic transfer switch and a weatherproof enclosure.
This will ensure that emergency electrical power is available during outages or in emergency situations.
“I think there’s an aspect of reliability when you have a new generator,” said Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay, who visited the station on Sunday to make the announcement.
“Obviously, there isn’t as much fear or trepidation that there could be interruptions in power, and interruptions in power source when it comes to radio and communications equipment is a real concern.”
A new generator will also have more power, providing the ability to fire up more equipment, MacKay said, adding that he expects more power will be needed in the future as activities in the Arctic continue to increase.
“We’ve made a commitment through the Canada First Defence Strategy to provide our men and women in uniform with the best equipment, training, care and support, and to ensure that they have what they need to do this important, difficult, and sometimes dangerous work on behalf of our country,” he said.
Installation by contractor Houle Electrical is scheduled to be complete this fall.