Blackout Watch News

Blackout Watch – Issue 066 December 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:

Hawaii, USA – 8 August 2023: A series of wildfires broke out predominantly on the island of Maui. The wind-driven fires prompted evacuations, caused widespread damage, killing at least 99 people and leaving six persons missing in the town of Lahaina on Maui’s northwest coast. There is an investigation related to the cause of the fire.  The power outage caused by the wildfires was not reported. 

Brazil15 August 2023: A nationwide blackout occurred due to opening of a 500 kV circuit breaker between the north and southeast regions of Brazil. The cause of the blackout is under investigation. Almost 19 GW of electric load was interrupted which was about 27% of the total load. The blackout affected most of Brazil, the north region was the worst affected by 84% loss of power supply, followed by the northeast with 44% loss of power supply.

Kenya – 26 August 2023:: A system disturbance caused a widespread electricity blackout in the morning. The airport was also affected because the local diesel generators for the terminal building did not start. The electricity supply for the airport was back in operation after five hours. Many homes and businesses were still without power more than 15 hours after the blackout started.

USA – 31 August 2023:Hurricane Idalia caused millions of residents in Florida to evacuate and over 300.000 homes and businesses to be without power along the east coast from Florida to North Carolina.

Nigeria – 14 September 2023: A fire on a major transmission line caused an explosion and tripped the transmission line connecting the Kainji and Jebba power plants in north to central Niger state. This caused a widespread blackout across the country. Power generation fell to zero in the early hours but had risen to 1,3 MW by early afternoon, still well below the daily average of 4,1 MW. The grid collapsed at least four times in 2022, which authorities blamed on technical problems.

Tunisia – 20 September 2023: Electricity supplies were cut across Tunisia for two hours in a nationwide outage. The cause for the blackout is under investigation. Most of Tunisia’s electricity is produced from natural gas, renewable energies (mainly photovoltaic) accounting for just 2.5% of the total.

Brazil – 7 November 2023: The gale-force winds that hit Sao Paulo were the strongest in recent years and caused severe damage to the power grid. The storm snapped branches and knocked down hundreds of trees that fell on overhead power lines in many streets of Metropolitan Sao Paulo, initially cutting off 2.1 million customers. 76% of the customers had the electricity back three days after a storm, but half a million residents of Sao Paulo were still without electricity.

Japan – 12 November 2023:  Power outage across Okinawa Prefecture left about 68,000 households without electricity in the afternoon. The reasons for the blackout have not yet been established.


Rannveig J. S. Loken – Head of Protection department, Statnett, Norway, Chair for CIGRE SC B5

Received her Master of Science in Electric Power engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 1992. She works in Statnett, the TSO of Norway, currently Head of Protection department in Statnett. In September 2018, she became Chair of CIGRE SC B5. Her special field of interest is protection and control for the transmission system. In addition, working in Cigre Working groups is of great interest – she is currently a member of WG B5.69. Rannveig is in the Advisory board of PAC world, Committee member of IET DPSP, and Member of the International Advisory Committee APAP. Rannveig is associate editor of the PAC World magazine.