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Repair work at power plant ongoing but power back to normal

REPAIR work at Power Plant 1 is still ongoing, but power operations are back to normal, Variety was told Sunday.

“We are safe right now with 42-megawatts of power production,” a source at the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. said, adding that the island’s average power demand is 40 megawatts.

On Saturday, at just past 2 a.m., a power outage hit the island. As of 3 p.m., Chalan Kiya, Susupe, Oleai-San Jose and some areas in Garapan were still without power. CUC issued an official statement around 6 p.m.

In a statement, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said at 2:35 a.m., generator No. 5 at Power Plant 1 suffered a failure caused by an oil splash monitoring system which was recently installed as part of an upgrade by the engine manufacturer.

“Subsequently, a generator overcurrent fault occurred, causing an automatic trip and ultimately an island-wide power outage as the protective breakers opened on all operating engines causing low voltage, de-energizing the entire power plant.”

Camacho said the power system was secured and the assessment process was initiated.

“Once that was completed, restoration of the island power supply began. However, there were some technical problems starting with a station service generator. Once those repairs were completed, the restoration of the Feeders began with Feeder No. 3, 2, 7, 1 and Kiya No. 1, 2, and 3 throughout the day. Furthermore, the electrical problems on Station Service No. 1 and No. 2 supporting engines 1 through 4 could not be turned on. Therefore, the power plant did not have adequate generating capacity to finalize the restoration of Kiya No. 4 and 2nd partial of Feeder No. 2. As a result, CUC coordinated with Fiesta Resort, Hyatt Regency, T Galleria and Grandvrio Resort to self-generate until the engines were online and also implemented load shedding. At 4:15 p.m., repairs were completed and the engines were put online and Feeder No. 7 and Kiya No. 4 were reenergized and the island power fully restored.”

Due to the loss of island power, Camacho said, “the water supply was impacted and CUC Water Division expects water services to be fully restored by 1 a.m. Throughout the day, the deputy executive director, William Gilmore and Victor Flores, plant operations supervisor, had been updating the CUC call center, Facebook, automated outage messaging system, and the radio station KKMP, of the restoration process status. CUC also communicated with the vendor who installed the oil splash monitoring system that caused the initial incident at the power plant to discuss and analyze the problem of the fault.”

Camacho added, “Moving forward as per our protocol, management and staff of power generation will do a complete review and assessment of the cause of the incident and review issues related to its operational procedures and electrical system to mitigate future problems.”

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/96376-repair-work-at-power-plant-ongoing-but-power-back-to-normal

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