Electric storms cause trouble for power company
(CNS): Following on from warnings of possible outages this week due to maintenance issues, Grand Cayman’s electricity supplier was struggling to deal with power cuts in most of the districts this morning as a result of local thunderstorms. CUC customers in East End, North Side, Bodden Town, Prospect and parts of George Town were all subject to loss of supply as powerful storms struck the island. All of the power cuts, except in North Side where a broken tree limb hit power lines, were due to lightning strikes. Crews worked to restore power as quickly as possible and managed to get everyone connected again before 10am.
After warnings issued on Tuesday,18 September, that the firm may be forced to shed load as a result of simultaneous maintenance on generation units, a spokesperson from CUC explained that it did not need to cut power deliberately and its generation capacity has been restored to normal levels.
“As a result the company is lowering its alert for potential rolling outages,” the spokesperson stated. “CUC would like to thank those companies who responded to our request to curtail their electricity usage during the peak demand periods on Tuesday. These are Camana Bay and the Cayman Water Company.”
The power firm stated that it was committed to providing a reliable electricity service to its customers, but from time to time it experiences multiple generating unit failures when generating capacity can become stretched.
“In those instances, we will have to cut power to sections of the Island on a rolling basis to avoid a system overload. We aim to keep the duration of each outage to approximately one hour at a time,” CUC stated. “The company normally operates with adequate reserve capacity to cover maintenance activities. However, if there are coincidental multiple generating unit failures, we have to access our reserve and depending on the magnitude of the failures that reserve capacity may be exhausted which would lead to us reducing demand and shedding load until capacity can be restored in a safe manner.”
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