CARACAS, Wednesday September 04, 2013 | Update
ENERGY | Electric grid fitfully operated during the weekend

Power transmission limits likely to be exceeded

"Imports from Colombia were low, thus making vulnerable our grid tail in western (Venezuelan) states"

Experts are positive that weaknesses persist (E. Tovar)
Wednesday September 04, 2013  04:08 AM
Electricity experts are sure that the occurrence on Tuesday with a high impact on power supply nationwide is the result of weaknesses prevailing in the domestic electrical grid.

"The grid was doing badly since last Sunday, as some states experienced outages. The situation would not better on Monday and it was noted that Planta Centro (Morón, Carabobo state) was operating only with one unit that provided 210 megawatts (MW)," explained international advisor José Aguilar.

Thermoelectric generation, added to 285 MW of Planta Termocarabobo, totaled about 495 MW coming out from the sub-powerhouse of Planta Centro, he spelled out. "Those 495 MW are insufficient for stability in the National Electrical Grid (SEN)."

"Imports from Colombia, based on the numbers provided by that country, were low, thus making vulnerable the tail of our system in western states, particularly in the Andean region," he added. The expert disclosed that it was unofficially learned that two units at Guri dam went out of the system.

Exceeded limits

According to the ex-general manager of the Office for the Operation of Interconnected Grids (Opsis),  Miguel Lara, the failure occurred at 12:30 pm on Tuesday, at the beginning of the peak electricity demand. "Everything makes one infer that, again, they surpassed the limits of the transmission trunk."

What happened "is hitherto unheard-of. There could be two situations: one, there are plenty of deteriorated or unavailable devices, making difficult the recovery of the charge; two, technicians are not prepared for such contingency."
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