SPOKANE, WA- As a record heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest, Avista announced a temporary blackout in Spokane to reduce stress on the power system, they said.
“As a state and federally regulated utility, Avista is required to reduce the electrical load on the system when the system criteria are met,” Avista said in a statement on Monday afternoon. “In some areas These criteria were met relatively quickly and to meet the requirements. temporary power outage In most situations these blackouts will take about an hour.”
Spokane City Council Chairman Breean Beggs said Avista had told him the cause of the blackout was the sum of heat and an increase in the electric current flowing through the system.
“The initial blackouts you see in Hillyard and Eagle Ridge, and those places are because the neighborhood power transformers have been overheating from the combination of electricity drawn through them and outside heat,”; Beggs said. told KHQ on Monday, “It’s like a house breaker. if it’s too hot It will turn itself off.”
“We have never had such conditions in Spokane’s history on our grid,” he added.
Beggs said Avista had told City that if the autopilot went out, The crew must go and check to see if it’s still working or needs repair or replacement. The process of checking the transformer will take 2-4 hours, and if everything is satisfactory, it can be turned on again.
“If not, they’ll have to replace or repair,” Beggs said, “which takes about 12 to 24 hours.”
Beggs said Avista’s plan was to run an hour-long blackout in neighborhoods they thought had autopilot that could overheat. In order to avoid situations where the transformer is interrupted for a long period of time
“We understand the inconvenience of these unplanned power outages. especially without notice and extreme temperatures,” Avista said in a statement. “We are working to identify and communicate with customers who may experience a short power outage. due to future heat.”
Beggs couldn’t say for sure how long the power was out. But he acknowledged that the next two days are expected to see Monday’s highest temperatures.