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:

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
30 November 2017

A country wide blackout swept across the plains of Tanzania just before dawn. According to Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), a technical fault caused all regions connected to the national power grid to lose electricity supply. Tanzania has faced chronic power shortages due to its reliance on drought-prone hydro-power dams, with currently about 40 percent of the population of 50 million having access to electricity.

Atlanta, Georgia, USA
17 December 2017

For nearly 11 hours throughout the day, the world's busiest airport suffered a massive power failure that left an estimated 30,000 travelers stranded amongst darkened terminals or on one of the many planes sitting on the tarmac. All operations at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport were disrupted, which led to the cancellation of at least 1,100 flights. Officials stated the outage was caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility and that a piece of switchgear may have failed and started the blaze. The intensity of the fire delayed repairs but power was back on shortly before midnight.
Caracas, Venezuela
18 December 2017
Just before noon a major blackout hit the Venezuelan capital and two nearby states. Officials gave no estimates on the number affected, however a wide area lost power for up to five hours, including the subway system and international airport. The outage was blamed on the collapse of an important cable that links a transmission tower to a generation plant. Investigators are trying to determine if a power surge may have caused the break.
Nairobi, Kenya
9 January 2018
A nationwide outage hit the cities and savannahs of Kenya in the afternoon and lasted well into the night. Officials said the blackout was due to a system disturbance caused by a damaged insulator on a transmission line between two substations. Oddly enough, the country of 50 million suffered a similar blackout exactly one year ago to the day.

Khartoum, Sudan:  
10 January 2018
The entire country of Sudan suffered a complete loss of power midway through a televised speech by President Omar Al Bashir. The National Center for Controlling the Electricity Grid (NCCEG) reported the national grid had been completely shut down due to a technical fault and it would have to be reconnected gradually throughout the day, one city at a time. According to the U.N., thermal generation makes up to 50% of Sudan’s electricity production, yet only 35% of Sudan's 40 million residents have access to electricity.

Morris County, New Jersey, USA
12 January 2018
The homes and businesses of 50,000 customers across the state of New Jersey went dark due to a combination of issues at a substation. Jersey Central Power & Light claimed that rain and condensation, mixed with residual salt used on roadways and walkways for de-icing had caused an equipment malfunction. A switching station was also affected, however power was restored gradually after several hours

Time and location of the System & Power Disturbances in 2017 and 2018.

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