Saturday 21 April 2018

Number of separate 'large faults' - but no mass outages expected on grid

ESB says it is working to restore power
ESB says it is working to restore power

Sean Nolan and Ryan Nugent

ESB Networks are reporting that a number of separate 'large faults' have knocked out power in Portmarnock, Malahide, Navan and Roscommon.

However, both the ESB and Gas Networks Ireland say they are not expecting mass outages on their grids, despite several supply issues to networks in the UK.

ESB is reporting a fault in the Donabate and Lissenhall areas of Dublin. The network hopes to resolve the fault by 6.30pm. Another large fault has been reported in the Prosperous, Clane and surrounding areas of Kildare. That fault is expected to be fixed by 6.45pm.

In a message on their powercheck.ie site, ESB Networks say that 185 customers in Malahide suffered a loss of supply at 6.02am

Another fault, also in Malahide, was affecting supply to a further 93 customers but this has now bee repaired.

ESB Networks say that the estimated restoration time for the original fault is 3.15pm.

However, a spokesperson for ESB Networks told Independent.ie that they hope the power will be restored before then.

A large fault, affecting almost 4,000 customers, has hit Tulsk in Roscommon.

Image of the fault area on powercheck.ie
Image of the fault area on powercheck.ie

ESB Networks estimate power will be restored by 4pm.

The spokesperson also confirmed that none of the power outages around the country so far today were linked to the freezing conditions

Power has also been lost to 134 customers in Dun Laoghaire, with ESB now estimating that supply will be restored by 4pm, after earlier hoping to have power back this morning

Meanwhile, the networks said they have a large fault in the Navan area of Meath and the initial time of returned power is 4pm.

ESB networks had warned that the extreme weather conditions could affect supply.

In a statement this morning, ESB Networks said:

"ESB Networks are continuing to monitor the deteriorating weather situation and its potential impact on the electricity network. As part of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning,  ESB Networks has been working with the emergency services to ensure the safety of the public during this period and putting  plans in place to address any damage to electricity services.

"While snow and ice does not normally cause significant damage to the electricity network, the blizzard like conditions today and tomorrow, along with forecasted high winds have the potential to cause some  damage. ESB Networks is observing the advice of the Government Task Force for the period of the Red Alert (4pm today to noon Friday) however our crews are on standby to make the network safe if necessary and to carry out repairs  once it is safe to do so.

"As travel and access to the network may be difficult for our technicians during this period, we are asking the public to please stay away from fallen or low hanging electricity wires. These will be live and extremely dangerous, even to approach.  ESB Networks' crews will make these safe and repair them once it is safe to travel and access the site."

Grid

In the UK the National Grid issued a warning that there would not be enough gas to meet the demands of the country with factories having to shutter their operations.

However, this is not anticipated to be an issue in Ireland despite the blizzard-like conditions that loom over the country this afternoon.

A GNI spokeswoman said they are confident gas demands will be met.

"Gas Networks Ireland is aware that National Grid has issued a gas deficit warning in the UK. There are currently no restrictions on gas supply to customers in Ireland," she said.

"Gas Networks Ireland is confident that current Irish gas demand can be met through the combination of our interconnector in Scotland and indigenous supplies from Corrib and Kinsale.

"We will continue to monitor the situation in the UK," she added.

A spokesman for the ESB told Independent.ie that they have crews on standby at 50 depots across the country.

"Our network is in very good order when it comes to capacity so there are no issues both on the generation side and going through the distribution network, it's very resilient," he said.

"Regardless of the extra demand being placed on it on days like these, we're very confident it will hold up.

"Obviously winds later on will effect and may damage the electricity network. We're not expecting mass outages by any means.

"We've got crews in our 50 depots around the country on standby to respond when it's safe to do so.

"Obviously with accessibility we might not be able to get people back as quickly as we normally would. Hopefully people will understand that," he added.

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