Heavy use causes outage

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 8:45am
Category: 

There were several power outages on the island on Sunday, July 1, in the early evening.

We asked Block Island Power Co. President Jeffery Wright about where the outages were and their causes.

Q. There was a power outage on Sunday night. Can you tell us the area or areas that were impacted?  

A: The area impacted was all customers served from the High Street circuit from Ebbets Hollow down to the statue of Rebecca and then up to and beyond the Medical Center and Block Island School. The circuit serves Payne Road and parts of Mohegan Trail, as well. 

Q. What was the cause? Was it any way related to the wind farm connection?

A: The failure was a fuse that burned up in the high heat due to heavy loads. The system was very stressed this weekend. Our system hasn’t seen this type of loading since last summer and it really exposes the weak points. It is in no way connected to anything other than equipment failure, which is fairly common.  

Q: How long did the outage last? 

A: The line crew was able to identify the cause of the problem within an hour and had everyone back on in just over an hour.

Q. How would you describe this occurrence? Usual? Unusual? Was there something that could have been done to prevent it? 

A: Each year we experience outages due to heavy loads that come upon us very suddenly. Our system is taxed very little in the off-season and within a one-month period the load more than doubles. This causes weak points to finally fail.