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

Jackson Hole, Wyoming:  
8 February 2019
A substation failure at the main transmission station left the town in darkness in the evening (02/08/19).  Work crews were able to restore power in less than 45 minutes.

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: 
12 February 2019
More than 14,000 customers lost power in the Las Vegas valley in the afternoon (02/12/19). According to NV Energy, the power outage was caused by a mylar balloon which struck a powerline. The metallic material in mylar was also the cause of a similar power outage two days earlier in the same area.

New York City, NY, USA: 
25 February 2019
Over 500,000 customers across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan lost power due to a violent storm knocking down power lines in the area. Most residents were in the dark the entire day, as winds of up to 62 miles per hour uprooted trees, battered homes, and overturned cars across the country.

Caracas, Venezuela:
7 March 2019
March 3 2019, marked the first in a series of nation-wide blackouts across Venezuela that have continued through at least April. In the month of March alone, Venezuela was without power for a total of 10 days. The blackouts began after the failure of Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant left the country of nearly 32 million in darkness for several days. Government officials blamed sabotage, while most experts attributed the failure to aging infrastructure and insufficient maintenance. At least 43 deaths have been attributed to the ongoing blackouts.

Cancun, Mexico:  
06 April 2019
A major blackout struck the Yucatan Peninsula on April 6 2019, including Cancun, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. Nearly one million customers were affected when a brushfire at a sugar plantation damaged a transmission line. The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) called it “unrelated to the technical operations” of the commission.

Khartoum, Sudan:
07 April 2019
The entire nation of Sudan suffered a complete power blackout on April 7 2019, as protesters from across the country held a second day of a sit-in close to the presidential palace. The Ministry of Electricity and Water confirmed the blackout and stated that engineers and technicians were trying to restore power. The protests against embattled President Omar Al-Bashir started in December 2018 and the country is currently under a state of emergency. 

Time and location of the System & Power Disturbances in 2019

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