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CUC: ‘Mechanical issue’ causes 4-hour islandwide power outage

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A FOUR-HOUR islandwide power interruption occurred early Wednesday morning due to a mechanical issue after engine 7 at Power Plant 1 tripped, Commonwealth Utilities Corp. Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

The power outage started at 1:25 a.m. and lasted until 5:53 a.m., he added.

“The oil mist detector identified a problem, which triggered the protection devices and automatically tripped engine No. 7,” Camacho said.

The load from engine 7 was automatically transferred to another unit, which experienced low frequency causing the entire power plant to trip, resulting in an islandwide outage, he said.

CUC power generation personnel immediately performed assessments on the engine and coordinated with field linemen to restore power to the entire island by 5:53 a.m., Camacho added.

“Investigation of the incident is ongoing, and adjustments are expected to be made to resolve this problem,” he said.

Camacho said the 15-megawatt temporary power generation from Aggreko also turned off when the power plant went off. “Aggreko was in the same busbar so when the power plant goes off Aggreko goes off also.”

Camacho said engine 7 is an old unit that has been overhauled over the years.

CUC, he added, still plans to acquire a new engine. “But right now we need to address today’s problems and keep our power supply reliable, efficient, and safe,” he said.

During the power outage, CUC said there was no water and wastewater service interruption.

However, CUC added, due to the low water tank levels of the Dandan and Isley Tanks, customers in lower Dandan, Koblerville, As Lito, As Perdido, Airport Road, San Antonio, Chalan Kanoa, Susupe, and Oleai were advised to conserve water for the next 24 hours to prevent the water wells from running dry.

CUC also urges customers to report leaks to the CUC Call Center at 664-4282.

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