Diesel generator tests cause outage

A clogged-up diesel generator in Faro caused a power outage in parts of the Yukon this morning. A filter in the four-megawatt generator was blocked, causing the equipment to overheat and shut down.

A clogged-up diesel generator in Faro caused a power outage in parts of the Yukon this morning.

A filter in the four-megawatt generator was blocked, causing the equipment to overheat and shut down.

Lights went out at 10:07 a.m. in Riverdale and Porter Creek. Power was restored just before 10:30 a.m., said Yukon Energy Corporation spokesperson Janet Patterson.

Power also went down in Pelly Crossing, which regained power by switching on it’s back-up diesels.

Lights flickered for nearly five minutes in downtown Whitehorse, signalling rapid surges and drops in power supply.

The power fluctuations are caused by the grid searching for power sources to fill demand, said Patterson.

These so-called brownouts have been attributed to damaged electronics that aren’t equipped with surge protectors.

The Faro diesel generator is in repairs and was undergoing tests when it grew too hot. The tests require the generator to run for 12 hours.

Yukon Energy switched the diesel generator on once power was restored to the Whitehorse-Aishihik-Faro grid.

But the public utility has also turned on a second turbine at the Aishihik power dam as a backup, which Yukon Energy will tap if the diesel generator shut down again.