Rare February power outages

Power outages affected large areas of Grand Cayman on Monday, following several Caribbean Utilities Company mechanical failures over the past 10 days.

The area of South Sound was without electricity from roughly 9am to 1pm on Monday; the Beach Bay area was affected at approximately 4.20pm.

On Saturday, 5 February, CUC reported a “major mechanical failure” on one of their generators due to damage to a single diesel engine.

The engine was installed in 1991 and was due to be retired in 2012, according to a statement from CUC.

On 28 January, a generator explosion at a plant site left two employees of CUC injured, one of whom remains in critical condition.

The statement also said: “The generation units in question had all been serviced within established maintenance intervals. Investigations are ongoing and involve manufacturers’ representatives and independent investigators appointed by the insurers.”

According to the CUC statement, there will be further unplanned outages and service interruptions “until this temporary capacity is in place and the out-of-service capacity is restored.”

Typically, power outages occur in the Cayman Islands primarily in the summer months, when higher temperatures, weather from severe storms, lightning and humidity cause shortages in CUC generators.

In the summer months of 2010, at least six power outages affected Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands.

The last major outage affected the South Sound area of George Town in October 2010.

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