William Head Institution

15kV Upgrade



  • Transformer
  • Generators
    Whether you need a generator for your backup power supply in the event of a power outage or you require a generator as a portable source of power, Houle supplies, installs, and services both diesel and electric generators.

Scope of Work

Completed: 2011

Owner: Public Works and Government Services Canada

Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in Metchosin, BC, the William Head Institution is a minimum-security facility with four units which can house up to 180 inmates.

Houle replaced four 15kV load break switches and two 15 kV transformer primary fused disconnects, and tested the existing 15kV cable infrastructure and replaced any necessary cables. To keep the facility operational at all times, Houle provided temporary generator power to multiple buildings throughout the site. The new switchgear was designed to fit the footprints of the existing switchgear while maintaining current electrical code requirements.

Since the existing cabling was old, Houle faced the challenge of testing the cables “on the fly” to determine its integrity, without further damaging the cables. 80% of the cabling had to be replaced, which created a revolving schedule and involved coordination. This also increased the number of generators required to maintain power at the desired locations around the property; all of which was accomplished with minimal impacts to the schedule.

Despite a demanding project schedule that required careful planning so there were no impact to the inmates’ schedules, Houle completed the project and met all of the client’s requirements without any disruptions. The project resulted in a new system that is reliable and durable. The distribution and cabling infrastructures are now free of potential failures. Switchgear cabinets are now fitted with “switch contact view windows” for infrared testing to mitigate otherwise undetectable issues.