Why all the recent power failures at the Lairds Corner substation?
By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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Once completed, it should give customers in the area some relief by mid-September from a recent pattern of power outages, according to information from the Clallam Public Utility District.
The substation at Lairds Corner — near the junction of U.S. Highway 101 and state Highway 112 just west of the Port Angeles city limit — serves 1,360 customers near the Elwha River.
In the past six weeks, customers have experienced five power outages.
Causes of the outages, which ranged from 30 minutes to more than three hours, differed.
The first outage June 28 was caused by a vehicle wreck. The second, on July 3, was the result of equipment failure.
The third and fourth — on July 11 and 12 — were caused by failed systems associated with a temporary mobile station that has been put into place while the new substation is constructed, said Mike Howe, PUD spokesman.
The cause of the fifth power outage last Saturday is unknown, Howe said.
As of Wednesday, the substation’s old equipment had been removed, most of the concrete foundations had been poured and steel was being erected.
This week, crews also are working to lay conduit and other equipment below ground, Howe said.
Howe said that the contractor expects to complete the work before Sept. 17.
Some Lairds Corner customers are now being fed from the PUD’s airport substation, he said.
Howe said that the PUD crews believe they have the problems taken care of, but “the reliability of electric service in the area is degraded,” and additional outages are possible until the new substation is online.
Howe noted that some events — such as wrecks, wildlife interactions with power equipment and lightning strikes — can be out of PUD’s control.
Customers can report power outages by phoning 360-452-9771 or 800-542-7859.
For more information, phone the PUD at 360-452-9771.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 08. 2012 5:57PM