Monday power outage caused by tripped relay

A power outage that affected thousands of homes and businesses in north Red Deer on Monday was caused by a tripped relay on a power line.

A power outage that affected thousands of homes and businesses in north Red Deer on Monday was caused by a tripped relay on a power line.

The lights went out about 2:40 p.m. and the outage lasted for about an hour. The power disruption affected about a third of the city, mostly north of 67th Street, said Garfield Lee, senior distribution engineer for the city’s Electric Light and Power Department. About 15,000 residences and businesses were affected.

“What happened is the transmission line that feeds the substation, that’s an AltaLink transmission line, and that line tripped.”

The city doesn’t know why the relay was tripped on AltaLink’s line.

The power problems knocked out traffic lights all across the north end of the city. Most drivers seemed to take the problems in stride and treated intersections as four-way stops.

“The power doesn’t go out very often so people don’t have a lot of chance to practise that,” said Lee. “But that’s what is supposed to happen when there are no lights.”