GPL still to ascertain cause of constant power outages

first_imgWhile it is still investigating the main reason for the frequent, lengthy power outages which occurred last week, over the weekend and continued on Sunday, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) said it is working to ensure that the discomforts are not experienced during the holidays and the New Year.Speaking at an emergency press conference called on Monday, GPL’s acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Renford Homer and acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Technical) Elwyn Marshall, sought to appease the concerns of the public, while offering technical explanations for the outages, admitting that there had been some disturbances beginning last Tuesday and particularly over the weekend.In terms of the outages on Sunday morning, Marshall said the power company was still analysing what might have been the cause and the reason for it taking such a long time to be restored.Kingston PlantAccording to Marshall, on Tuesday night last, the conductor of one of the feeders coming out of the Kingston, Georgetown plant failed. As a result the line linking the Kingston and Sophia substations tripped, which led to the total outage of power. According to him it took the company over three hours to restore power and return the system to normalcy. The DCEO said on December 16 there was a failed insulator on the feeder that feeds the Albertown, Queenstown and neighbouring areas. He said the crossarm of the insulator caught fire which caused the power outages on that day.“What we managed to do was provide alternative feed to provide the hospital and a large section of Queenstown while repairs were being done.”Explaining the scenario on Saturday, December 17, Marshall said there were three feeders coming out of the Kingston Wartsila Plant which also feeds the commercial districts of Albertown, Queenstown, Prashad Nagar, etc. He related that the conductors for two of those feeders were entangled, while one encountered a burnt jumper and switch. He explained that there seemed to have been a fault of that circuit and because of the heavy current, it sagged and came into contact with another conductor. Because of the entanglement of the conductor in the Kingston area, the Kinston plant began tripping.“The fact that they are all located on one side of poles, we could not do work on the F8 without taking out the F3 for safety reasons, so the commercial areas would have been without power for just about one hour.”Addressing the outage on Sunday which began at 02:30h, Marshall said that was caused by the power transformer at Kingston, which is used to convert the power from the generator tripped and caused the total outage. By 16:00h the power company began the process of restoring the system. He said there was enough damage to cause the company to take the generator out of service.According to the CEO, there is no single reason for all the problems as all the incidences are unrelated. He said everything happened at a time when all want to be assured of a trouble-free Christmas as it relates to electricity.“Those are the things we are cognisant of and those are the things that we are making efforts to ensure that we understand cleary beyond what we have just told you and to take the corrective actions, not just for Christmas, but ensuring the reliability of the network is concerned.”Meanwhile, the Deputy CEO informed that GPL currently has a firm capacity of some 104 megawatts which do not include the eight megawatts generation available at Skeldon. “As of today (Monday) we have 112 megawatts of generation capacity. Our peak load in December we expect it to be 108 to 109. Traditionally our largest demands are in October and in October we had just about 110 megawatts. As it stands there is sufficient demand to meet the peak, however there is not much reserve of 112 to meet the capacity of 108.”Garden of Eden PlantHe informed that GPL has found itself in this situation partly because of the Wartsila plant at Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara, which was taken down for maintenance that was expected to last for some two weeks. Marshall said it was realised that after the maintenance some items needed to be replaced. According to him, the parts were ordered and were to be shipped to Guyana last week. However, because of the Christmas rush the airfreight company was unable to get it to Guyana earlier. It was however promised to be here last evening and should be available today to be installed. When that is completed there should be another 5.5 megawatts of power available before Christmas. That, he said, will give a reserve of 10 megawatts.last_img