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:

Rhodes, Greece
9 November 2018
The power supply on the entire island was interrupted for several hours this morning. The loss was caused by low demand in power consumption, according to the Public Power Corporation. Electricity was quickly restored. The Aegean island of 115,000 residents was again hit by total blackout eight days later due to a technical failure in the network. One of the six units at the Soronis plant went offline and eventually led to both of the island?s plants being rendered inactive. Technicians blamed the outage on the island?s low electrical currents combined with a failure of the system. .

Paris, France: 
26 November 2018
A major power cut hit much of the French capital at around 4.30 pm this afternoon. At last four arrondissements were plunged into darkness, along with Gare du Nord and Gare de L?Est stations and one of Paris? most famous streets Rue de Rivoli. Electricity provider Enedis said their teams were able to restore power after several minutes.

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada: 
4 December 2018
Nearly 200,000 customers were left without electricity throughout the province this morning after the Boundary, Shand and Poplar River power stations all tripped.  A SaskPower spokesman pointed to a larger ?transmission-related issue? rather than simply a distribution outage. They also stated that when the system senses instability, it will often cause units to trip. For several days leading up to the outage, heavy frost caused by fog, mist and cloudy weather had led to sagging and breaks in power lines.
New York, New York, USA
27 December 2018
The power went out and the sky turned neon blue in the Queens area shortly after 9 p.m. this evening. Flights at nearby LaGuardia Airport were also halted after an electrical fault on a section of 138,000-volt equipment at a substation caused a transmission disturbance. This led to a sustained electrical arc flash.
Panama City, Panama:  
20 January 2019
An overload in the Central American Transmission System in Panama caused a massive outage across a large part of Central America today. Millions of residents in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and parts of southern Mexico were without power for several hours. The countries are all on the same power grid, which extends approximately 1,130 miles between Panama and Guatemala.

Buenos Aires, Argentina:  
22 January 2019
Nearly 300,000 people in the city and province of Buenos Aires were without electrical power today. Local suppliers Edenor & Edesur both experienced an external outage of the network that affected the power supply during the first day of the year when temperature exceeded 35 degrees. Blackouts in Buenos Aires are often associated with excessive load on the grid caused by heat.

Adelaide, Australia:
23 January 2019
On its hottest day on record, about 25,000 customers in South Australia lost power overnight. SA Power Networks (SAPN,) which manages the power poles and wires blamed blown fuses, rather than a lack of electricity. They stated that 3,000 megawatts of power were still being used at 10:00pm as residents tried to cope with temperatures around 35C. The system's safety switch set-up prevented more widespread and longer-lasting blackouts, as their failure prevented severe damage to transformers that would have needed to be replaced.

Time and location of the System & Power Disturbances in 2018 and 2019

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