Chelan PUD Outages Mostly Restored, Delayed By Heavy Demand
Most Chelan PUD customers in Plain and the south shore of Lake Chelan have power restored as of 4am Sunday. There are 47 customers still without electricity in the Lake Chelan area.
PUD staff said power was restored in Plain by 8pm Saturday. Equipment failures led to outages in both area early Saturday morning, roughly between 4am-6am.
Power was restored gradually in the south shore of Lake Chelan, with more customers getting electricity back on an hourly basis.
Staff said the slow reconnection was due to "cold load pickup" , when demand is so high when power is restored that another outage occurs.
To avoid cold load pickup, customers were asked to unplug all electrical items and wait about a half hour after power was restored before reconnecting the electric powered items.
PUD staff said restoration has been slow because customers - residents affected by the outage - are not aware of the need to unplug items.
The demand during the current cold snap is about twice the normal load, according to the PUD.
Chelan PUD is experiencing two outages, 177 in the Plain area and 1,049 on the south shore of Lake Chelan.
An equipment failure caused the outage in Plain. In ramping up power after repairs, the system is having to deliver twice the normal load because of customer usage during extreme cold.
A phenomenon called "cold load pickup" could lead to another power failure that will be more long term because of stress on the system.
Customers in the Plain area are being asked to unplug all electrical items and wait about a half hour after power is restored before reconnecting the electric powered items.
The PUD says power should be restored on the south shore of Lake Chelan by 3:30pm.
They're asking customers in that outage to also go through the process of unplugging all electrical items and waiting 30 minutes after power is restored before reconnecting them.
The PUD say the outages were caused by stress on the systems with double the demand by customers during the extreme cold. Usage in current conditions (Noon Saturday) is about double that of normal levels.