GPL suffered shutdown in Demerara system

-widespread outages on Saturday and yesterday

Despite its assurances to the public of reliable service for Christmas, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) experienced a series of technical problems on Saturday and yesterday, including a total shutdown of the Demerara system,  leading to frequent blackouts which left citizens up and down the coast and in the city fuming.

GPL had blamed outages in the previous week on bad weather but there was none of that in the last few days and citizens have been demanding answers.

Yesterday GPL advised of various technical problems which cut power. The transmission and distribution issues raise ongoing questions about whether GPL is getting on top of its problems. This had been a key concern of critics of the now shelved Amaila Falls Hydropower Project.

GPL said that the outages experienced on Saturday, commencing at 14:10 hours, were the result of a series of faults occurring on the F4 feeder emanating from the Kingston 2 generating station, combined with the tripping of one of two station service transformers at that station.

“After restarting the system, this feeder was reclosed around 14:34 hours after waiting for any reports of fallen poles and other unusual occurrences, as is standard procedure. However, it tripped again and checking of the lines revealed a burnt cable lug on the feeder pothead at Kingston. Repairs were completed at approximately 17:10 hours. On closing at 17:21 hours, it again tripped and a burnt jumper connection on the line was found at Water and Barrack Streets. After repairing and reclosing the feeder at 18:15 hours, it again tripped and crews found the lines entangled at Main and New Market Streets. The feeder was finally reclosed at 18:35 hours”, GPL said.

The release said that repowering of areas on Saturday commenced at 14:22 hours with areas from Kingston along Water Street, Brickdam, Princes Street, Louisa Row, Sussex Street, to Agricola.

It said that the station service transformer that was tripping has been isolated, and technicians are carrying out detailed checks.

“The outages experienced on Sunday December 22, 2013, commencing approximately 12:15 hours, were as a result of a shutdown of our Demerara Interconnected System. This was caused by a stuck starting air valve on a cylinder of the No.3 generating set at our Kingston 2 generating station, leading to a drop in the common control air pressure system and consequent shutdown of the fuel pumps to all of the machines.

With the loss of this, the largest station (36 MW) in our system, all other stations would become overloaded and shut down.  All areas in Georgetown/Greater Georgetown, the East Coast, East Bank, West Bank, and West Coast Demerara were affected”, GPL said.

 

Repowering of areas started at 12:19 hours with small areas between Sophia and Good Hope.  The last areas between Good Hope, Industry, Success, and Lusignan were repowered at 13:40 hours.

GPL says it sincerely regrets the inconvenience caused, and wishes to advise that GPL’s technicians, line crews, and contractors are working continually to keep the  system running.

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