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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Massive blackout in Chile affects 9 million people

September 25, 2011 – SANTIAGO – A massive power blackout paralyzed crucial copper mines in Chile on Saturday and darkened vast swaths of the country including the capital Santiago before energy was largely restored, officials said. The outage acutely exposed the fragility of the energy grid in the world’s top copper producer, which was devastated by a powerful earthquake in 2010. Critics have blamed Chilean President Sebastian Pinera for under-investment in infrastructure and his popularity ratings have dropped since taking office last year. Prior to the power failure, he was already struggling with massive protests by university students demanding deep educational reforms. Scrambling engineers were able to fully restore power generation and get distribution up to 90 percent of normal, the government said after the blackout, which lasted a couple of hours in most places. “We’ve regained power in various regions of the country,” said Chilean Energy Minister Rodrigo Alvarez. At an earlier briefing, Alvarez said the cause of the outage was unknown but that computers that help run the energy grid had also malfunctioned. The blackout primarily hit the centre of the country, where nearly 10 million of Chile’s 16 million people live. –Reuters
Canada outage: Several area communities lost power Saturday evening from Ottawa to Princeton and as far west as Tiskilwa, including DePue, Malden, LaMoille and Ladd. Ladd resident Beth Flaherty said she was without power from 4:40 p.m. until shortly after 7 p.m. Residents who called Ameren got a message that stated there was a problem with a generator in Hennepin. Ladd Lanes wasn’t affected too much by losing power for 1 1/2 hours, according to manager Sam Lawrence. The business closed until power returned at 7 p.m. and then reopened. The recorded message at Ameren gave an estimated time of 1 a.m. for power to be restored, Lawrence said, which would have cost the business its Saturday night crowd. Nearly 4,000 Ameren customers were without power in Ottawa at 7:30 p.m., according to the company’s website, but by 7:40 p.m. that area was back on. More than 500 people in each town still were without power in Tiskilwa, Princeton and DePue. Ten minutes later DePue was back online, leaving only Tiskilwa and Princeton residents in the dark, along with one location in Ottawa and one in La Salle. –News Tribune
BOISE, ID – Over 1,000 people in Boise were without power Saturday afternoon. Around 4 p.m., an outage that ranged from Boise to Garden City affected 1,369 customers at its peak. Ada County Dispatch said that a blown transformer at the corner of Chinden and Maple Grove was the cause of the outage. The transformer blowing did spark a small grass fire, but crews on scene were quickly able to bring it under control. Idaho Power said they had crews on scene soon after the problem was identified to begin fixing the problem. -KTVB 
Arizona Outage: Umpires pulled the Giants off the field while they discussed the situation with D-backs officials. The game resumed after a 28-minute delay. After the game, the D-backs issued a statement: “According to APS, Arizona Public Service, a microburst hit the Phoenix area and took out 1 of 2 APS substations that feeds Chase Field. The transfer switch did transfer to the backup feeder resulting in minimal power outage to the stadium. However, the stadium is equipped with high-pressure sodium lights which shut down when experiencing a voltage drop causing the outage. After shutting down, they require a cool off period then a re-strike, which takes 20 minutes.” -MLB 
Ohio: An officer responded to a loud explosion in the 1000 block of East Sixth Street at 2:40 a.m. Saturday and found it to be a blown transformer that caused a power outage in the area. -Salem News 
Karachi loses power: The Karachi Electric Supply Company on Saturday increased the duration of unannounced power outages for domestic consumers to about 12 hours and for the industry to eight hours. Residents of North Karachi, parts of North Nazimabad, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Federal B Area and PECHS block II complained that they suffered at least five spells of power outages of two-hour duration each. Residents of Orangi, Keamari, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony and Korangi suffered even more hours of power outages. A KESC spokesman, however, claimed that residential and commercial consumers would suffer a maximum of nine hours of loadshedding while the duration for industrial loadshedding would be eight hours. He said as the gas supply was 160MMCFD (million cubic feet daily), the KESC`s combined cycle power plant was still closed and the remaining gas turbines were on below optimal output due to a low gas supply. An SSGC spokesperson, however, claimed that the KESC needed a minimum of 130MMCFD to operate turbines, and maintained that the power utility was making unnecessary noises to deflect the focus from its own mishandling of the situation. -Dawn 
Posted on  by The Extinction Protocol

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