Blackout Watch

System Power Outages

by Troy Linkugel, USA

Analysis of system power outages can help us learn and avoid similar events in the future. If you have information on any blackouts, please e-mail to: editor@pacw.org

Rio de Janeiro
21 March 2018  
The failure of a transmission line near Belo Monte hydroelectric station led to a massive outage across parts of northern Brazil. Tens of millions of people lost their power, with 22.5 percent of the grid’s total output of 18,000 megawatts affected. It happened around 3:40pm and many areas started to see their lights come on late in the evening. Partial outages continued for several days.

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
14 April 2018
A large explosion at a local power plant cut power to over 43,000 residents early Thursday morning.  Authorities later said a racoon entered an infeed substation and made it through their wildlife protective equipment. Somehow the animal made contact with a part of the station with electricity and one that was grounded to complete the circuit. Power was restored in under two hours. The Knoxville Utility Board stated approximately 9 per cent of their outages are caused by wildlife.

San Juan, Puerto Rico
18 April 2018
Another island-wide power outage struck Puerto Rico shortly before 10am. Workers removing a fallen tower got too close to an energized line with an excavator and caused an electrical ground fault. Power was restored to many within 36 hours. Just a week earlier, the same company was responsible for another blackout that affected 870,000 customers when they knocked a tree over onto a power line.   

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
1 May 2018
A nationwide power outage swept across Ethiopia overnight when a circuit breaker tripped at the Gibe II dam, which was described as Africa's biggest dam when it was built in 2016. The hydroelectric station is Ethiopia's main source of power and a major source of controversy. It has been blamed for cutting the water supply to northern Kenya, which has caused Lake Turkana to shrink.
 
Pickering, Ontario, Canada
2 May 2018
A major outage affected the entire city of Pickering and parts of nearby Ajax in the afternoon. A loss of power supply from Hydro One at the Cherrywood transformer station caused the outage, which cut power to nearly 40,000 customers. Officials said some sort of failure caused two transformers to go offline as a precaution, just as they were designed to do. Power was restored within two hours

Time and location of the System & Power Disturbances in 2018.

Analysis of system power outages can help us learn and avoid similar events in the future. If you have information on any blackouts, please e-mail to: editor@pacw.org

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