Blackout Watch News

Blackout Watch – Issue 064 June 2023

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:

South Africa – 19 February 2023: Eskom has been implementing the worst rolling blackouts in South Africa on record, leaving households in the dark, disrupting manufacturing and hurting businesses of all sizes, require up to 6,000 megawatts to be shed from the national grid, and mean up to 10 hours a day without power for some South Africans.

Cuba – 21 February 2023: Cuba suffered its third major blackout in little more than a week, leaving a vast swath of the center and east of the island without power. The blackout spanned 430 miles (700 km) from Cienfuegos province in south-central Cuba to Guantanamo, on the far southeastern tip, leaving more than half of the country´s population of 11 million without power. Scattered blackouts were also reported in the capital Havana.

Argentina – 1 March 2023: Large swathes of Argentina were left without power after blackouts in the national grid due to a fire, as the country endures a major heat wave that has increased demand for energy. Parts of the capital Buenos Aires, and the central regions of Santa Fe, Neuquen, Cordoba and Mendoza, have experienced blackouts, the failure put 10,000 megawatts offline. The power cut is believed to have been caused by a fire in a field near high-tension lines connected to the Atucha 1 nuclear power plant, Yanotti said. Several blackouts have occurred in the country since January amid high electricity demand.

Kenya – 4March 2023: Kenya was hit by a nationwide power blackout lasting several hours caused by a “system disturbance”, initial reports indicate that the outage was caused by a fault that occurred on the Suswa-Loyangalani high-voltage power transmission line.

France – 9 March 2023: Strike action cut power to the large sports arena Stade de France in Paris and to some of the construction work for the 2024 Olympic village in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis on the outskirts of Paris.

United State s- 14 March 2023: High winds accompanying pounding rain and windstorms knocked out power and left more than 200,000 residents without power. The greatest concentration of power outages was in the South Bay, East Bay, Peninsula and San Francisco. Wind gusts were reported as high as 93 mph in the interior East Bay, 71 mph in the Oakland Hills and 74 mph at San Francisco International Airport. 

Canada – 5 April 2023: Over 1.1 million customers were left without power due to a major ice storm that covered Montreal in ice and left hundreds of thousands without power well into the weekend.

Canada – 6 April 2023: Two people died and more than a million were without power after an ice storm hit Canada’s two most-populated provinces ahead of a holiday weekend, bringing freezing rain and strong winds that toppled trees and weighed down power lines. Just under a million people did not have power in Quebec and about 110,000 in Ontario as of 4 p.m. (2000 GMT). Outages combined for both provinces had crossed at least 1.3 million earlier in the day.

South Africa  – 9 April 2023: Over 2.5 million people were left without power in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital city after vandalized high voltage 132 kv power lines caused 7 pylons to collapse onto the N4 Highway

Bangladesh  – 21 April 2023: Bangladesh was forced to cut power to millions of people as a relentless heatwave leads to a surge in demand for power and thereby creates massive electricity supply shortfalls during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Greater use of irrigation pumps by farmers and an increase in commercial activity during Ramadan have also contributed to increased power demand.

Canada – 25 April 2023: A loss of production in some turbine-generator sets at the 5,428-megawatt Churchill Falls hydropower plant in the neighboring Newfoundland and Labrador province had triggered the power outage for about 11% of its 4.5 million customers across Quebec.

Sweden – 26 April 2023: The Nordic electricity power system was disrupted, and two Swedish nuclear power reactors were disconnected. Due to the disruption, replacement production from the Nordic balancing power market was activated and the situation was stabilized. Sweden, Finland, Norway and eastern Denmark were affected.

Bangladesh – 16 May 2023: Bangladesh faced its worst power cuts in over seven months as a deadly storm, Cyclone Mocha, forced the closure of both its floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, less than a month after a scorching heatwave caused widespread outages in the south Asian country. Millions of Bangladeshi citizens have been hit by frequent power cuts in recent months, as erratic weather patterns and high global energy prices have made fuel supply to power plants unreliable.