Archive for Wednesday, September 5, 2001

Reclosure’ keeps Baldwin powerless

September 5, 2001

Here we go again. Baldwin City suffered another power outage Friday evening, this time with blue skies above and no out of character usage to blame.

So what happened? First, the outage itself was caused by an "external" problem away from the city involving the KCPL feed, said City Administrator Larry Paine.

"It was an overcurrent from KCPL," said Paine. "Our system read that as 'we've got a problem here' and all of our safety devises in the substation were working properly."

But, from there, the system responded as programed, but it didn't work. The "reclosure" system that is suppose to delay for 60 seconds, then bring back power only worked for two of the four feeds. That left about 90 percent of Baldwin powerless for more than an hour.

The problem is in how those two feeds were set up, Paine said, and KCPL is looking into it.

"What happened was part of the town reclosed properly and the other part didn't," he said. "KCPL is reviewing the drawings."

He said KCPL is expected to "tweak" the system to prevent the problem from happening again. As for what started the outage in the first place, the "overcurrent," Paine isn't so sure what happened.

"I don't know that we're getting good information out of KCPL regarding that," he said.

Friday's outage was at the start of the long Labor Day weekend. It made many residents remember the "mother of all outages" which occurred two years ago on Labor Day weekend and lasted nine hours.

"Don't think I didn't think about that, too," said Paine.

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