PRESS RELEASE — Homer Electric Association members experienced a system wide power outage late Monday afternoon. The outage started at 4:15 pm when a fault occurred on a high voltage transmission line that runs from the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Plant through Homer and on to Soldotna.
The fault appeared to take place somewhere between Bradley Lake and Diamond Ridge in Homer. The incident was serious enough to create a loss of voltage on the entire HEA system and resulted in an outage from Kachemak Bay north to Nikiski.
HEA was able to restore power to Nikiski, Kenai, Beaver Creek, Ridgeway, and Sterling by 5:45 p.m. and had restoration to the rest of the HEA system completed at 8:25 p.m.
The duration and size of the outage was compounded by the fact that there are two transmission related construction projects underway. A small section of the transmission line between Soldotna and Funny River is out of service due to construction work at the HEA substation in Soldotna. In addition, both HEA and Chugach Electric are working on the transmission system between Soldotna and Cooper Landing. This situation complicated and delayed the restoration efforts from Soldotna south to Homer.
An overflight of the transmission line between Bradley Lake and Homer failed to locate any obvious cause for the fault on the line. Possibilities include a lightning strike, a tree on the line or a possible bird contact. HEA will continue to investigate the cause of the outage.
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