PRESS RELEASE – Homer Electric Association experienced a peninsulawide power outage on Friday that left the Kenai Peninsula without power for most of the afternoon.
The outage was the result of a problem at HEA’s Nikiski generation plant. At approximately 11:25 am the plant experienced a problem with a piece of equipment that monitors fuel supply to the combustion turbine causing the unit to trip off line.
The impact of the outage was compounded by the fact that at the time of the incident, the Kenai Peninsula was not connected to Chugach Electric. Earlier in the week the transmission line near Girdwood was damaged and power from Anchorage was unavailable to the Peninsula.
At the time of the outage, the entire Kenai Peninsula was being served by the Nikiski plant and the Bradley Lake hydroelectric plant.
Due to fact that the Kenai Peninsula was “islanded” from Anchorage, when the Nikiski plant dropped off line the impact was severe enough to also trip the Bradley Lake facility.
The outage affected the entire HEA service territory which includes approximately 32,000 meters, as well as the area south of Girdwood, including Cooper Landing and Seward.
HEA was able to re-start its generation plant at Nikiski and also bring back Bradley Lake on line Friday afternoon. The restoration was completed at approximately 4:45.
At approximately 11:30 a.m. the entire Kenai Peninsula lost power. Homer Electric Association had two units trip at Nikiski which in turn caused Bradley and Cooper Lake units to trip off-line. Chugach customers in Girdwood and south are included in this outage.
Homer Electric Association is beginning to restore power to the Kenai Peninsula following a Peninsulawide outage earlier today. Restoration to all members is expected to be completed by mid-afternoon.
Before an Outage
Prepare the following:
• Flashlights (head-lamps and battery-powered lanterns allow for hands-free operation)
• Candles (enclosed in glass mantle for safety)
• Battery powered and/or hand-crank radio (NOAA weather station capable is best)
• Extra batteries (for flashlights, radio, essential electronics)
• Important family and emergency contact information (written down on paper, in case cell phones/electronic contact list is unavailable)
• Stock ready-to-eat, non-perishable, no-cook foods
• Stock emergency water supplies (one gallon, per person, per day) in case local well or city water systems are unavailable)
• Stock wood for wood-stove/fireplace
Things to do/know:
• Keep cell phones charged
• Be familiar with location and operation of your indoor breaker panel (complete with labels) to reset circuit breakers if necessary
• Know how to manually open your garage door
• Have a family safety plan, including how/where to evacuate if necessary and where to meet
• Purchase ice – to surround food with in the cooler or refrigerator or freezer
• Keep a digital thermometer handy to quickly ensure food is cold enough to eat safely (less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit)
During an Outage
• Minimize opening refrigerator, freezer and coolers to maintain cold food temperatures
• Use perishable foods from the refrigerator first
• Next use perishable foods from the freezer
• Next use non-perishable items
• Be aware of locations where ice, such as dry ice, can be obtained to pack into a cooler or your refrigerator to preserve food during an extended outage
• Use candles and fireplaces carefully; keep candles on fireproof surfaces and avoid open fireplace flames or burning inappropriate materials
• Children should not handle candles, only flashlights or light sticks
• Do not use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning device inside your home, garage or other enclosed space
• If a carbon monoxide or smoke detector alarms, move to a fresh air location, preferably outside
• Call for emergency help from the fresh air location
• Avoid unnecessary travel by car as traffic and street lights will likely be out
• If someone is dependent on electricity for health reasons, they should be relocated to a hotel or medical facility with uninterrupted or back-up electric service
• Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment including sensitive electronics so they will not be damaged if there are power surges
• Leave one light on so you will know when the power comes back on
• Only use a portable generator if you are familiar with its operation and IF connected to your home it MUST have a transfer switch installed by qualified personnel, as required by Chugach Electric Service Requirements to ensure safety of linemen and equipment protection
After an Outage
Safety & Returning to Normal
• Throw out any food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or greater for two hours or more or has an unusual odor, color or texture (when in doubt, throw it out)
• Plug in electronics and other disconnected items and reset electronic clocks
• Do not touch any wires or other electrical facilities you find outside
• Walk through your home to make sure all mechanical systems, water systems, furnace, and appliances are operating normally.
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