Hydro-Québec is busy repairing broken pots this afternoon after a power outage to nearly half a million homes in the province lost power. They, however, should find all the current “this afternoon”, the state company assures.
As of 3:16 p.m., the number of customers without power had dropped to 21,174 from 490,000 a few hours earlier. The vast majority of households without power — about 19,000 — live in Monterrey, while Montreal has about 900 customers without power. A few hundred homes in Lanaudière, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Autauis are without power.
“We don’t know the cause, but it’s really a loss of production at the Churchill Falls power station,” Hydro-Québec spokesman Cendrix Bouchard suggested in an interview as the source of the outages. destiny After 1 p.m. On Tuesday, six of the 11 turbine-generator units at the hydroelectric station in Newfoundland and Labrador stopped working, causing “nearly 500,000 breakdowns,” Energy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said in mid-afternoon. , during a press scrum in the Blue Room.
The state company indicated on Tuesday that this loss in electricity production, conditions to be determined, “triggered the protection mechanisms of the transmission network” of the Hydro-Québec network, resulting in “blackouts” in several areas of the province.
By Tuesday afternoon, three of the six turbine sets at the Churchill Falls hydroelectric plant that had stopped working earlier in the day were back in service, with Minister Fitzgibbon hopeful that the event would prevent power outages for all customers. The Hydro-Québec network is “quick”.
Loss of output from some turbine-generator units at the Churchill Falls generating station triggered protective measures on our high-voltage transmission network. #disruption About 490,000 consumers affected by power…
— Hydro-Quebec (@hydroquebec) April 25, 2023
End of “this afternoon” interruptions
Unlike the blackouts caused by the blizzard earlier in the month, these did not require Hydro-Québec employees to be fielded. Instead, the state-owned company manages the situation remotely, relying on turbine-alternator groups to compensate for the drop in power output caused by these outages. Therefore, “we will connect people remotely”, explains Cendrix Bouchard, who is optimistic that all customers without electricity will be reconnected to the Hydro-Québec network “this afternoon”.
“Because the temperature is much warmer, it gives more flexibility than in winter,” the spokesperson said, noting that Quebecers use much less energy this time of year. Hydro-Québec must therefore quickly find a way to generate enough power for all homes in the province, he added.
At the same time, Hydro-Québec teams are also trying to clarify the exact cause of these outages. Crown corporation Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro are collaborating on an investigation to determine if the plant at the source of these power outages is located on its territory. However, the Newfoundland and Labrador Crown Corporation on Tuesday reported no power outages related to the event in its territory.
During maintenance this afternoon, an issue at Churchill Falls caused a loss of supply affecting customers in Quebec. All units are back online. The incident is being investigated.
— NHLydro (@NLHydro) April 25, 2023
With Florence Morin-Martel