The Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) explains that a line fault in one instance and high winds and salt spray in another are the reasons for multiple power outages in Abaco which happened November 19, 20 and 25.
Public Relations & Corporate Programs Officer at BEC, Arnette Ingraham, said that the outages that spanned the evening of November 19 through to almost mid-day in some places on November 20 were caused by a line fault on the South Abaco feeder.
While BEC reported that two of the outages were island-wide customers south of the Wilson City Power Station experienced numerous short outages throughout the night. One resident reported that his power in Sandy Point went off 30 times through the night and yet another, who eventually turned his power off at the breaker switch, said it was like someone was “playing with the light switch”.
Ms. Ingraham explained that the issue was due to a failure of the automatic re-closer. She said that when the automatic re-closer recognizes a fault it is supposed to shut the system down but because there was not a significant drop in the load the power station wasn’t aware that the re-closer had failed to shut down the area where the fault was.
“If someone had called after it had happened once or twice we might have been able to find the problem sooner and to prevent it from happening further,” she said. “However, it was a failure of the system itself because after three times it is supposed to shut down and due to a glitch it kept happening; possibly more than twenty times.”
She said that technicians found that problem and they were able to fix it and they are also investigating the cause of the initial fault in the south Abaco feeder and hope to prevent it from happening again.
Again on November 25 Abaco experienced as many as five outages, two of which BEC reports as being island-wide. Ms. Ingraham said that there were several problems on the distribution system related to the high winds and salt on the overhead line.
She said the first island-wide outage experienced occurred at 12:17 pm was as a result of a fault in Hope Town. Supply was fully restored at 12:56pm.
The second outage at 2:45pm was as a result of a fault on the South Abaco Feeder in the area of Schooner Bay. Supply was fully restored at 3:13 pm.
Additionally, North Abaco experienced supply disruption as crews had to fix high voltage lines in the Cooper’s Town area that were impacted by the high winds.