Power outage remains mystery

The cause of Red Deer’s power outage remains a mystery.

The cause of Red Deer’s power outage remains a mystery.

Jim Jorgensen, Electric Light and Power Department manager, said crews have been conducting tests and analysis since the power outage affected about 10,000 residents on Saturday afternoon.

Crews performed tests on Monday to evaluate the condition of the transformer at Substation 15 downtown and determine the cause of the outage. It will likely take another day or two to determine the exact cause.

“We have a little work to do yet,” he said. “We’ve had folks out there all day and likely a few more days.”

The power went out at 4:41 p.m. and was back up around 5:35 p.m. Areas that were affected included the downtown, Riverside Meadows, Parkvale, Grandview, Mountview and others.

The safety systems that monitor operations at the substation responded as intended and automatically shut down the substation to ensure major equipment was protected.

This gave crews time to evaluate the problem before determining it was safe to start up one of the two transformers at the substation, switching some customers to other transformers.

On average, Red Deer experiences 100 to 150 power outages a year lasting more than two minutes. Among the major causes of outages in 2013, 42 per cent were due to equipment issues, 19 per cent were caused by birds connecting with lines, 10 per cent were due to fallen trees, and nine per cent were caused by impacts from vehicles.

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