Botched tree trimming, burnt jumper reasons for spate of blackouts – GPL CEO

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In the wake of a palpable outcry among citizens over the recent spate of blackouts, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) has finally offered the explanation that “a botched tree trimming exercise and a burnt jumper” are among the reasons for the electricity woes that plagued numerous residents in various parts of the country.
GPL’s Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Renford Homer also explained that shutdown of the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) on Sunday resulted from a generation shortfall occasioned by reduced generation reserve.

Homer adumbrated that when the demand was about 84 megawatts, there were 87 megawatts available for generation, which left only three megawatts of reserve capacity, instead of the normal 20 megawatts.  Moreover, the machines at Skeldon and Garden of Eden were being overhauled, whilst the one at Kingston was undergoing routine maintenance.
“The machine at Kingston developed a high exhaust temperature, and that activated the generation protection, which brought the machine offline.

So we could call it a generator trip, because there was not much reserve and we could not unload the feed as quickly as we would’ve wanted to, to keep the system stable,” Homer was quoted as saying by the Department of Public Information.

On Monday, at approximately 15:15h, GPL received a report of a burnt jumper on one of its feeders, and the transmission distribution crew quickly responded. However, while attempting to close that feeder, the system sensed an unusual surge of high current, and the protection network was activated, taking the generating system offline.

This resulted in sufficient generation to meet the demand at that time, Homer explained.
At approximately 8:45h on Wednesday, some customers on the DBIS experienced a disturbance when a number of feeders were lost due to a tree trimming exercise being conducted by Atlantic Hotel Incorporated on Battery Road Kingston.

Homer pointed out that the trimmed branches fell across GPL’s primary network, causing a severe movement on two of the conductors which became intertwined. The generation at Kingston plant went offline.

“However, it was not a total shutdown, we were able to offload a number of feeders and maintain some stability to the system. The two circuits that stayed out for a little bit would’ve been the F8 and the F9 feeders; parts of the F8 mainly,” he explained.

The Acting CEO apologised for the inconvenience, and is urging citizens to be careful when carrying out exercises close to GPL’s network, since significant disruption and inconvenience can be caused, which in some instances translate to additional costs for the power company.

He also assured that the coastal power supply is returning to normalcy.

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