Share |

PSE unable to find exact cause of Island wide power outage

Vashon Island experienced an Island Wide power outage, Monday around 5pm. Power was also reported out in parts of Kitsap county. Power was restored around 6pm. 

Puget Sound Energy service linemen were unable to find the exact cause for the high-voltage transmission line that serves the Vashon Island substation, which tripped off Monday evening, causing approximately a 1-hour power outage to 6,500 Vashon Island homes and businesses.

The transmission line also brings power to a substation serving Port Orchard.

The line tripped off around 5 p.m. 

PSE crews re-energized the line serving the Vashon Island substation, and restored power to all 6,500 customers at 6 p.m.

Crews then worked on re-energizing the line serving the Fragaria substation near Port Orchard, and restored power to 5,000 customers at 7:19 p.m. 

Problems on high-voltage transmission lines, after long dry spells, are not un heard of after a heavy rain. Experts believe that dust or other impurities (small leaves) may settle on the high-voltage insulators and become natural paths for the high-voltage to jump across when they become wet, causing a breaker to trip. The power company has to inspect the line usually finding nothing wrong, because the arc has vaporized the impurities. There is no sustaining arc because the breaker trip removes the high-voltage. Usually an hour or more of time is needed to verify the line is OK before it can be re energized.