Sixth power outage in four months blacks out southern Yukon

A Yukon Energy crew accidentally blew out power on the Whitehorse-Aishihik grid Tuesday afternoon while they were replacing a ceramic bushing atop a transformer outside the Aishihik power station.

Doh!

A Yukon Energy crew accidentally blew out power on the Whitehorse-Aishihik grid Tuesday afternoon while they were replacing a ceramic bushing atop a transformer outside the Aishihik power station.

“In the middle of doing that, they encountered a problem which resulted in the power going out,” said Yukon Energy spokesperson Janet Patterson in an e-mail.

Bushings wear out over time, but their replacement doesn’t happen very often, she said in a telephone interview.

The power went out just before 4 p.m. and it took nearly 45 minutes to restore.

The outage is the sixth grid-wide blackout in four months and the second of these to be cause by a transformer at Aishihik. The February 5 outage was cause by a turbine at the

Aishihik power station. Fallen trees and broken governors on two of Whitehorse’s turbines have also caused outages.

Yukon Energy president David Morrison wasn’t in town to answer questions.

Patterson believed he was in Vancouver on business, but that could not be confirmed before press time.

He is to return on Monday.

A briefing is scheduled for Tuesday to explain service-reliability issues with the publicly owned utility.

In the meantime, Yukon Energy admitted its service isn’t up to snuff.

“There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that there have been far too many outages over the last few months,” said Patterson in an e-mail.

“We recognize that we have aging infrastructure that requires more attention than it has been getting over the last several years,” she said.