8-hour blackout for Friday to fix disruption of power supply from ship – GPL



The recent instances of blackouts experienced across the country were as a result of the disruption of power supply from the 36 megawatts power ship to the national grid.

This disruption was caused by birds attacking some wires, causing breakers to trip.

In order to permanently address the issue, electricity will be off for some eight hours this Friday to facilitate the necessary work.

It was only recently that the 36-megawatt power ship that is docked at Everton, East Bank Berbice was connected to the national grid, with a promise of significantly reducing instances of blackouts and other forms of power disruptions countrywide.

However, for this week alone, there have been numerous cases of power outages throughout the Demerara Berbice Inter-Connected System.

The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) says these disruptions were caused by damages to its transmission lines, some of which were caused by birds attacking the wires.

One affected line is the L21 line, which transmits power between the Canefield and Onverwagt Power Stations. It is the same line that has been connected to the power ship to supply power to the national grid.

Berbice Zone Manager for GPL, Ravindra Jagnanan says the birds are believed to be vultures, with a 3ft wing span that caused the line to trip.

“We would have experienced some of our recent trips on these transmission lines and of recent on the L21 line where vultures plucked the wooden structures or they actually plucked the transmission tower which is located on the west bank of the Berbice River. When these vultures do that, they come in contact with the live component of the tower which are the conductors and they cause power diversion from the lines to the metal frame,” Jagnanan explained.

He noted that this causes breakers to trip, resulting in power outages.

The GPL official said an overseas-based company, with experience in building tower shields and bird deterrents, has been contacted to provide assistance.

GPL has since purchased conductor shields and bird deterrents and they have already been shipped.

“We are at the point where we are going to have those items installed on the tower at West Berbice where are seeing most of the birds. Once we would have tested them and we are sure that all are properly fitting on the tower, we will be ordering the rest for the other three towers.”

Meanwhile, in order to have the shields and deterrents installed, power will have to be disconnected from the power lines.

Jagnanan says it will be off for eight hours on Friday, affecting locations countrywide.

The utility company will be using this downtime to also carry out maintenance to other aspects of its network.