Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (Friday, June 7, 2019) – On Tuesday, June 4 and Wednesday, June 5, a technical fault at the FortisTCI power plant on Leeward Highway resulted in two island-wide outages and a prolonged interruption in service to some Providenciales customers.
The first outage began on Tuesday, June 4, at approximately 8:54 a.m., and service was fully restored to all customers by 10:37 a.m. This outage was the result of failed electrical equipment at the main substation. A second outage began on the same day in the late afternoon at approximately 4:52 p.m., following the failure of another critical path high voltage switch on the transmission system to the company’s substations, which serve customers via underground cables.
Crews immediately began efforts to diagnose the cause and restore services where possible. Service was restored to the first set of customers at 6:20 p.m. Engineers and technicians continued to conduct troubleshooting and restoration efforts and restored service to more than half of the company’s customer base by 1:37 a.m. on June 5, excluding the areas of Grace Bay, Leeward, and Leeward Palms.
By 7 a.m. on June 5, necessary work to replace the high voltage switch was underway using a spare unit in the company’s inventory. The job required time for transferring heavy duty equipment, electrical wiring, installation, and testing of the newly installed device. Following a successful replacement of the switch, the electricity system was fully restored at 7:46 p.m. without further incident.
FortisTCI President & CEO Eddinton Powell said, “FortisTCI regards the reliability of the electricity supply as its top priority, next to the safety of employees and the public. This was a highly complex operation and took time to complete - that was the nature of the problem. We have improved the system to the point where we no longer have daily outages, but, almost invariably, when we have an outage, it is caused by a major incident. The work carried out was completed using industry best practice standards and resulted in no safety incidents. It is important that our employees go home to their families at the end of each day.”
Mr. Powell added, “I want to express my appreciation to the roughly forty personnel who were directly involved in the restoration of electricity over the past two days, and I also want to say thank you again to our customers and the public for their patience while efforts were made to resolve the issue.”