Faults in the control systems of three major generating units at the Caribbean Utilities Company’s North Sound plant led to Sunday’s widespread power outage, CUC stated Monday.

The electricity company said that power was lost to more than 25,000 customers in West Bay, George Town, South Sound, Prospect, Savannah, Bodden Town, North Side and East End.

The power outages occurred between 4:50pm and 7:26pm, with customers experiencing power failures that lasted between seven minutes to 2 hours, 36 minutes, CUC stated.

“Interim measures and system upgrades are in progress to reduce the likelihood of similar outages reoccurring. Large outages such as these are rare. However, from time to time they can occur on a small island power system,” CUC said.

The company said it continues “to install and maintain modern and efficient generating systems to ensure CUC’s customers experience the highest level of reliability in the region and has a Reliability 2.0 programme which is aimed at reaching North American levels of reliability”.

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According to CUC, it has scheduled four major reliability projects, which are expected to be completed by the end of this year. These include “increased black start generating capacity”, meaning a generating station that can self-start without requiring power from the grid.

The projects also include an upgrade of the control centre at the North Sound Road plant, a new distribution substation on the West Bay Road and a new replacement distribution substation in the Prospect Area, “all of which are intended to provide additional capacity and reliability to our customers,” CUC said.

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  1. CUC would like to reassure customers that there will be no interruption to the delivery of their bills, and that electricity price rises will not be affected.

    Similarly, CUC director bonuses and shareholder dividends are unaffected by this latest outage and the company’s management and owners continue to look forward to a bright future – unlike the customers, sitting in the dark.

  2. Sounds like the whole island lost power. In South Sound the outage lasted more than 2 hrs, I assume it was the CUC directors that got power back in 7 minutes. I note their target is to reach North American levels of reliability yet they have managed to far exceed North American levels of profitability.
    Given their sweetheart deal with Govt, Ofreg should mandate customer refunds in these circumstances – the Company can well afford it and the customer could certainly do with it.