Power was cut to many in Juneau late Sunday evening on July 19, 2020. Alaska Electric Light and Power is working to find the fault while transmitting power on another line. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Power was cut to many in Juneau late Sunday evening on July 19, 2020. Alaska Electric Light and Power is working to find the fault while transmitting power on another line. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Unknown fault causes brief Juneau-wide power outage

Power was restored within half an hour

An unknown fault in a transmission line caused a brief power outage across Juneau Sunday night.

“We don’t know the cause of the outage yet,” said Alaska Electric Light and Power vice president of consumer affairs Debbie Driscoll in a phone interview. “We had a fault on our transmission line one.”

The fault occurred at 10:56 p.m. Sunday evening. The last customer had power restored within half an hour, Driscoll said.

“The system worked as it is intended to,” Driscoll said.”The tripping open of the line is a protective mechanism.”

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The company shed most of the load as they worked to bring a backup transmission line up, cutting power to most of Juneau, except for locations such as Bartlett Regional Hospital. AEL&P will now work to isolate the fault in the first line, Driscoll said, a process that could take some time.

In the past, reasons for an outage range from landslides to animals, Driscoll said.

“Some of that line is not visible from the road,” Driscoll said. “It requires the crew to go up and patrol the line.”

The redundancy is built in for just such an occasion, Driscoll said.

As power was restored, areas were brought up one by one through substations. Operations will continue as usual on the number two line while AEL&P personnel works to correct the issue, Driscoll said.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or lockett@juneauempire.com.

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