OPALCO shares details about Dec. 22 power outage
Posted December 27, 2022 at 9:13 am by San Juan Update
OPALCO sends along news about the cause of the first of two county-wide outages from last week.
Just before 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22, as temperatures dipped into the low 20s, a mainland electrical feeder serving San Juan County lost power. Shortly after the power went out, the Bonneville Power Administration team helped identify the cause of the outage, which was faulty equipment on Puget Sound Energy’s transmission system. OPALCO crews were called out and remained on standby for when the the mainland repairs were complete.
The OPALCO team waited 8 hours for PSE crews to respond and complete the work on the mainland feed. Throughout the evening and into the wee hours of the morning OPALCO was in constant communication with BPA and PSE to coordinate the outage work.
At 2:10 a.m., the mainland power to the islands was re-energized and OPALCO began to bring the power to the island back up. They did this in phases to help protect the system. When the power goes out during such extreme temperatures, the grid must be managed carefully because picking up such a heavy load too quickly will overload the system.
Because the mainland outage lasted so long and the outside temperatures remained so low, parts of the OPALCO system were overloaded, resulting in smaller neighborhood outages. About 1,200 meters remained without power through the night as OPALCO crews worked to repair and restore the localized system outages. By Friday afternoon, most OPALCO members had their power restored.
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Categories: Around Here