Outage protection gear fails

A minor fault became a lengthy power outage Sunday evening after equipment meant to contain electrical glitches on the Yukon's power grid failed to work. Power went down in neighborhoods across Whitehorse at around 9:40 p.m.

A minor fault became a lengthy power outage Sunday evening after equipment meant to contain electrical glitches on the Yukon’s power grid failed to work.

Power went down in neighborhoods across Whitehorse at around 9:40 p.m., said Yukon Energy Corporation spokesperson Janet Patterson.

Laberge, Porter Creek, Crestview, Arckell, Logan and parts of downtown weren’t back up for another half hour.

Rolling surges—which can be especially hard on electronic appliances—were reported.

A fault on the Yukon Electrical Company Limited’s power lines broke a breaker open and caused a minor blackout, said Patterson in an e-mail.

But when the glitch reached Yukon Energy’s McIntyre substation, the technology meant to keep the outage from cascading didn’t work.

The substation tripped off and caused a much larger outage.

“That should not have happened,” said Patterson.

Yukon Energy discovered a problem with the protection equipment while investigating the substation Monday.

The outage comes just three days after a massive power outage struck Whitehorse, Faro, Carmacks, parts of Porter Creek, Marsh Lake, Tagish, Carcross, and the Minto mine near Pelly Crossing.

Lightning strikes started that blackout, said Patterson.

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com.