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    To power more people, less can mean more

    March 03, 2016
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    3M Energy

    To power more people, less can mean more

    As we look to a potential population rise to 9.6 billion by 2050, our world needs more energy. But the solution actually lies in less: smart science that answers the call for energy with less disruptive construction and less environmental impact.

    On 5 continents around the world, energy providers are partnering with 3M to help increase power capacity while keeping the health of our planet top of mind. Here’s a look at how one 3M solution, the Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced (ACCR) electrical conductor core, has helped power two very different places.

    • Vitally connecting Vancouver Island

      Separated from the British Columbia mainland, Vancouver Island’s power supply is vital to the everyday lives of the 748,900 people who live there. And so are the towering Western Red Cedars, the sparkling Pacific Rim Shoreline, and the flowing rivers and lakes that make Vancouver Island such a treasured spot – both for human inhabitants and the diverse animals and plants that call it home.

      When reinforcing the power lines spanning a scenic waterway and provincial park, the BC Hydro and Power Authority were looking for a less intrusive alternative to the construction of new transmission lines. So they opted to install 3M ACCR transmission conductors.

      The result? Serious energy increase. Minimal environmental impact. Teams avoided extensive construction that could have disrupted the diverse ecology of the area thanks to the science behind 3M ACCR conductor’s patented core, composed of aluminum oxide (alumina) fibers embedded in high-purity aluminum. The conductors increased the current capacity of conventional steel-core conductors using existing towers. That meant more power, without building more.

    • Spanning São Paulo’s Paraná River

      Bringing power to the home of the world’s largest rainforest and growing an emerging economy over Brazil’s 3.22 million square miles requires a power grid that’s up to the challenge. To help get there, the installation of a 2-mile-long ACCR conductor on the border of São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul boosted power capacity by 220% in power lines spanning the Paraná River. What’s more, the ACCR conductor was installed in just six days, avoiding extensive construction in an environmentally sensitive riverbed and long-term disruption in a precious ecosystem.

      So our future generations can inherit a smarter planet, with power where it's needed, and the experience of its irreplaceable landscapes and natural diversity, tomorrow.