Over the past nine days, GVEA’s system handled three widespread outages, plus various smaller outages. At the time of each of these large outages, GVEA was purchasing power over the Intertie from utilities located in south-central Alaska. Here’s what we know:
- Saturday, July 9, and Thursday, July 14: the southern end of the Alaska Intertie’s 230kv line faulted out. It’s believed both of these instances were caused when a tree came into contact with the line. Approx. 25,000 and 14,000 meters were affected, respectively.
- Sunday, July 17: the utilities that we were purchasing power from had issues with their generation facilities; therefore, those utilities had to shed the load. Approx. 14,000 meters were affected.
When the Alaska Intertie went down, our Dispatchers had to stabilize our system and fire-up our generating facilities before they could work to restore power to those affected meters.
There have also been various smaller outages, which have been caused by wind, lightning strikes and trees in the lines. And with all this rain, there’s a concern of saturated ground causing weakened trees to fall and possibly make contact with power lines.
GVEA recently installed a new Outage Management System (OMS), which works in tandem with our new Interactive Voice Response (IVR) phone system. If you happen to call in to report an outage and your contact information has been updated on your account, the OMS will match up your phone number with your service location. If we don’t have an accurate phone number associated with your account, it will delay the reporting of your outage.
You can use the IVR system to update your phone numbers. Or you can utilize our Account Maintenance Form by clicking here. You can also track a power outage in real time. Simply click here to access the outage map. The map is accessible via a computer or smartphone.