Blackout Watch

System Power Outages Listing

Author: Clare Duffy, ESBI, Ireland

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

8 October 2007, USA
A widespread outage that interrupted power transmission to about 30 thousand Pacific Power customers in Southern Oregon, USA, was caused by switch failure inside the Vilas Road substation, triggering failures at six other substations. Power was restored within an hour.

9 November 2007, Malaysia
A fault at the major transformer (T2) at the Taman Tshun Ngan substation in Sandakan, Malaysia, caused a major blackout in various part of the municipality at 7.50pm. Power in most areas was restored in about two hours.

20 November 2007, Malaysia
A blackout after a power trip at about 3.30pm at the Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) substation in Juru, Malaysia resulted in an outage that affected most of Penang Island in about 90 minutes.

29 December 2007, Iraq
Failure in two power stations - in Baghdad and Basra, Iraq, knocked out electricity across the Iraqi capital. It resulted in loss of about 400 MW at Al-Quds station and 150 MW in Khor Al-Zubair station.

20 December 2007, Australia
A faulty device that tripped a transformer in the Clarkson substation in Western Australia, as well as blown fuses, were blamed for blackouts that started on Christmas Eve and affected about 15,000 households. Western Power said this had nothing to do with scorching temperatures.

31 December 2007, Philippines
A blackout struck Iloilo City, Philippines, at 11:57 p.m. and dampened the excitement of city residents as they prepared to welcome the New Year. Some officials speculated that it was caused by firecracker hitting a line.

8 January 2008, USA
A cat that entered an electrical substation, caused a short that blew out 9 feeder lines, causing a power outage that blacked out more than 12,000 consumers in Nampa, Idaho, USA. Service was restored in about 3 hours to most customers.

9 January 2008, Jamaica
A system shutdown in Jamaica was initiated by the collapse of a utility pole on the 138KV transmission line connecting the Duhaney Park, St . Andrew, substation to the Tredegar Park station in St. Catherine. This led to the collapse of a circuit breaker, which further led to the shutdown of the Old Harbour Power Station.

16 January 2008, Albania, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro
In southern Albania, an almost 45 minutes blackout was caused by a problem at a substation. The Zemblak-Kardia transmission interconnector with Greece tripped causing other substations and power connections in Montenegro and Kosovo to trip as well.

19, 21 January 2008, Zambia
Zambia was hit with two nationwide blackouts in three days. A blackout occurred on Saturday 19th and it took about eight hours to restore power. On Monday evening a second nationwide blackout occurred around 7.30pm and it took 4 to restore power. The country's power authority said there had been a "high voltage" occurrence on the network but gave no further explanation as they are still investigating. It is unclear if the second outage was not connected to regional problems with electricity supply.

19 January 2008, Zimbabwe
A major blackout caused by a failure on the transmission grid, occurred in Zimbabwe. It affected the capital Harare, e.g. Bulawayo, Mutare, Victoria Falls and Kariba, suffered power cuts. Power was restored gradually, but parts of Harare were said to be without electricity almost 24 hours later. Zimbabwe has been experiencing power supply problems for awhile.

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