The Juneau area experienced a brief power outage Thursday morning, after a power-generation unit at Alaska Electric Light & Power’s Snettisham hydroelectric plant went down.
Power was restored after about 30 minutes after AEL&P staff were able to start up another unit.
“Essentially, we match our generation load to customer demand,” AEL&P Vice President and Director of Consumer Affairs Deb Driscoll said by phone. “A unit went down at Snettisham, so our equipment shed part of our customer load to keep that in balance.”
Driscoll said about 12,000 AEL&P customers were affected by the outage throughout the community.
Curious about frequency load shed? Essentially, we match our generation (power we produce) to our load (customer demand). When we lose generation, we need to shed load to maintain balance and prevent equipment damage. That's what happened this morning.
— AEL&P (@AELPJUNEAU) October 17, 2019
Driscoll said that it takes time to get another unit running, which is why there was a brief blackout. There were no areas of Juneau that were unaffected, Driscoll said, but the company has a list of locations, such as Bartlett Regional Hospital, that are prioritized to receive power.
Driscoll said AEL&P engineers are still investigating the cause of the shutdown. The outage occurred around 10:40 a.m. Thursday and was restored at 11:07 a.m., according to Driscoll.
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.