Power outage impacts Taos County

Cause of transformer malfunction still unknown

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 8/18/19

Engineers at Kit Carson Electric Cooperative have yet to determine what caused a primary transformer to malfunction early Sunday morning (Aug. 18), darkening homes and streets throughout Taos, Peñasco and Questa.

Lights flickered off and electrical devices abruptly …

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Power outage impacts Taos County

Cause of transformer malfunction still unknown

Posted

Updated Aug. 18 at 1 p.m.

Engineers at Kit Carson Electric Cooperative have yet to determine what caused a primary transformer to malfunction early Sunday morning (Aug. 18), darkening homes and streets throughout Taos, Peñasco and Questa.

Lights and other electrical devices abruptly powered down around 12:14 a.m. and did not come back up for roughly 45 minutes as engineers ran safety checks and switched to a secondary transformer currently powering the county.

Luis Reyes, chief executive at the utility, said "sudden pressure" had built up inside the primary transformer, triggering protocols that cause it to power down in order to prevent damage. Reyes said each transformer, which cost roughly $2 million apiece, are equipped with the same safeguard.

Reyes said more obvious causes of the malfunction, such as an animal caught inside the transformer or vandalism, were ruled out early this morning. Reyes said he expects his engineers will have an answer early this week.

Such widespread outages are rare, he said, especially during summer months, when power consumption tends to be roughly half of what meters show during winter time.

For that reason, Reyes said that while the Taos Vortex concert this weekend in Kit Carson Park is drawing a lot of power, it was likely not the cause of the outage.

 

 

Power outage

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