The Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) explained multiple power outages this weekend starting with the island wide outage or blackout on Friday evening October 15, 2021.
According to PPUC, a problem on a transmission line (heavy fault on the 34.5 KV transmission line) caused all running generators at Malakal and Aimeliik power plants to shut down. The transmission line is the main line connecting these two power plants that supply power to Koror, Airai and entire Babeldaob. Linemen traced the line but found no evident line interference and the fault was deemed transient. A transient fault is a momentary line interference either from vegetation, animal, etc. Power was restored at 9:25pm. Normal restoration time after a blackout is 1.5 hours as manual operations is required to restart generators and restore power to affected areas, by feeder or distribution zone.
The other major unscheduled outage occurred on Saturday October 16, 2021 around 10:00am, affecting most of Koror and entire Babeldaob. A heavy fault was also detected on the 34.5 KV transmission line. Linemen were dispatched to conduct line tracing which included sectionalizing power or opening gas line switches along the transmission system in order to isolate affected distribution zone. Two teams conducted line tracing and one of them spotted a damaged bell insulator and a dead snake hanging on the Nekken line near the water pump in Aimeliik. The snake came into contact with the main transmission line, causing it to ground and damaging the bell insulator.
The other team went to open the Load Break Switch at Black Micro in order to power up Koror and Airai, while Babeldaob remained off. Additional crews were contacted for bucket truck and materials for repair. Snake was removed and repairs were completed, restoring power to all of Babeldaob at 6:30pm.
Intermittent power outages also occurred early Monday morning October 18, 2021 due to continuous tripping of the Airai-Koror feeder. Linemen were dispatched to investigate including sectionalizing power by opening all gas line switches connected on the feeder to identify and isolate affected area. It was later identified that the gas line switch by Franco was experiencing some issues. Linemen conducted repairs and power was restored to all affected areas around 8:30am.
CEO Kyota met with all appropriate managers and staff regarding the recent outages to discuss possible solutions and way forward. One of the more permanent solutions include repair of relay calibration at the Aimeliik Power Plant and bid documents for this project is being processed. Another solution is the installation