Island Wide Power Outage Caused by Short in Feeder Cable

A short in one of two feeder cables leading to the Zagersgut Substation triggered a complete blackout on the Dutch side of the island late Sunday afternoon. 

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The emergency protection systems at the Cay Bay Power Plant were triggered completely shutting down the power plant for a number of hours Sunday evening.

A GEBE team of technicians have been busy Sunday evening working to isolate the short in the feeder cable, however without success up to press time. Unfortunately, this left a number of districts without power such as Dutch Quarter, Belvedere, Oyster Pond, Defiance, Middle Region and Guana Bay, but GEBE engineers were able to bring those areas back online by approximately 10.30pm after re-routing the electrical production supply.

The demand in those aforementioned areas on Sunday night is low and technicians will continue to look for the fault and implement immediate repairs on Monday morning. The re-routing of Sunday evening is only a temporary measure. Once the short has been located load shedding of the aforementioned areas will be necessary in order to repair the problem.

Electricity supply to other residential districts were back online after power plant technicians were able to re-route power to the last Zagersgut Substation cable, however the cable can only carry a certain load. Numerous attempts were made to resupply the various districts, but the fault kept creating a destabilizing situation.

Cay Bay Power Plant engineers were taken aback by the island-wide (Dutch side) outage and said it was rather unusual. All power generating equipment are functional and operational including the two new generators that were inaugurated last Friday.

Shorts in the power generation system are not uncommon and can happen anytime without warning.

GEBE continues to make investments in the electrical supply system in order to provide a reliable system. The current Bush Road civil works is related to GEBE’s ring system that will connect to the Pond Island Substation once completed.

The ring system will allow GEBE to still be able to provide electricity to Philipsburg and surrounding environs should a fault develop in the distribution network. GEBE engineers would be able to re-route the electricity more quickly thereby limiting the disruption time in service.