YEC looking at turbine work following major power outage

Yukon Energy Corp. is examining one of its major turbines following another power outage that plunged the southern Yukon into darkness for about an…

Yukon Energy Corp. is examining one of its major turbines following another power outage that plunged the southern Yukon into darkness for about an hour on Saturday morning.

Just after 3:30 a.m. Saturday, the Whitehorse hydro facility’s fourth turbine failed.

The same turbine failed twice in August, causing similar outages.

YEC believed it had fixed the problem.

Originally, its governor (a device that regulates the turbine’s speed) had malfunctioned. This time, the problem appears to be different, said YEC spokesperson Janet Patterson.

They haven’t pinned that problem down yet.

“Our managers will be meeting this week and are taking a real hard look (at the number four turbine) because something needs to be done,” said Patterson.

With winter coming, the utility wants the problem fixed.

“The sooner, the better,” said Patterson.

“I don’t know if total replacement is an option at this point. We might need to spend a chunk of money, but it’s still too early to tell.”

Built in 1985, the fourth turbine is the newest unit at the Whitehorse facility. It’s the largest and most used turbine.

“We really ask a lot from this unit and it gets used a lot in the summer,” said Patterson.

Yukon residents have experienced 45 unplanned outages this year, compared to 35 throughout 2006.

Equipment failures caused 16 of the power outages this year.

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