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

Sydney, Australia
24 August 2018
A major power outage swept across Sydney just before 2 pm local time. The outage brought traffic to a halt and left nearly 40,000 homes without power. Local utility Ausgrid was able to restore power in under two hours.

Hydra Island, Greece
26 August 2018
Authorities declared a state of emergency on the resort island of Hydra after power and water supplies were disrupted. Greece's public grid operator said emergency generators were being shipped to the island and a navy ship was providing support for the water system. The operator also stated the cause of the blackout remained unclear. A short ferry ride from the mainland, the cosmopolitan Hydra was once home to late Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.

Singapore
18 September 2018
Large parts of Singapore were hit by a blackout at 1:18 am local time. Energy provider SP Group said close to 150,000 residential and commercial customers were affected and power was restored within 38 minutes. Preliminary findings indicated the disruption was due to a partial loss of electricity supply from two power generation companies.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
27 September 2018
A technical fault resulted in the failure of Tanzania’s national power grid at 1:42 pm local time. The blackout lasted over three hours and spanned each region of the country connected to the grid. Dar es Salaam, the nation’s largest commercial city, was the most heavily hit. Power supply company Tanesco did not elaborate on what caused the fault, but stated it would investigate the cause.

Karachi, Pakistan
2-25 October 2018
A series of five power outages hit the city of Karachi throughout the month of October, with three occurrences happening over a span of just four days. According to K-Electric, the first two blackouts were due to high moisture in the coastal areas causing technical faults on the main transmission lines. The KE’s system has broken down in the past when there are light rains, which according to the company’s spokesperson is caused by dust particles on extra high voltage lines turning into sludge. Subsequent outages were blamed on a rollover effect, following the disconnection of Karachi’s power supply lines from the national grid.

Kampala, Uganda
3 October 2018
Uganda’s 42 million residents were hit by a nationwide power outage due to a system failure. Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) said in a statement that the outage followed a fault on an emergency transmission line between a power generating house at a Hydropower Plant and a substation in Kampala.

Hamilton, Canada
19 October 2018
Authorities say a metallic balloon caught inside a piece of equipment at a local substation caused a power outage that affected over 25,000 Alectra Utilities customers. Electricity was quickly restored, but officials were asking residents to be aware of their surroundings when flying kites, balloons or drones. As mylar balloons have increased in popularity, the number of power outages caused by them has increased as well, with over 1,000 per year in some large cities.

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

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