Power black-out hit 13,000 CUC customers

| 05/04/2018 | 35 Comments

(CNS): A power outage that impacted large parts of West Bay, Bodden Town, Prospect and George Town on Tuesday evening, from around 7pm, just as families were preparing dinner, was caused by “generating unit safety systems tripping a number of generating units in response to an operational anomaly”, CUC said in a release explaining the black-out that impacted as many as 13,000 customers on Grand Cayman.

CUC said some of those customers were affected for as little as six minutes, while others were without electricity for over an hour and a half. Officials explaining the cause of the power cut said that as the safety systems tripped a number of generating units, “there was a temporary shortage of online generation capacity, which resulted in a number of the power provider’s feeder circuits tripping.”

The release continued, “CUC operation and maintenance teams quickly addressed the generation shortage by bringing additional units online and power was restored in a systematic manner. While CUC is committed to providing a reliable electricity service to its customers, from time to time the Company may experience generating unit faults, which will result in the loss of power. CUC sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience the outages may have caused.”

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Category: Local News, Utilities

Comments (35)

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  1. Wise guy. says:

    We have an extremely inefficient, expensive, outdated, carbon producing power plant. We have an ineffective waste management program that has resulted in a huge mountain of garbage that is leaking poisonous pollutants into the North Sound and our ground water (not to mention the facts that it stinks and is visually unappealing). Google Amager Bakke. Two birds killed with one stone. Now we just need the political will and then we can…oh yeah. Never mind.




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  2. Nathan says:

    What about the weekend power out that had many businesses get back to work with systems down. Auxiliary batteries only last so long. It’s getting worse Guys we need a consumer group to tackle this monopoly.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    No surprise that CUC causes blackouts regularly a month or two before June each year, when they proclaim some kind of equipment failure and “necessary” replacement all to justify another raise in consumer costs. Never fails and we always get increased costs and never any reductions even though they make millions of dollars of profits each year since they began service in Cayman. The upside is that, compared to other Caribbean islands, they do give reliable service for most of the year.




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  4. Anonymous says:

    we going end up getting charged for this …. check your next bill carefully




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  5. Anonymous says:

    If that was Tuesday, what was the excuse for Wednesday same time that blacked out the whole of Northside plus other areas, or is the story inaccurate….




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  6. Anonymous says:

    “generating unit safety systems tripping a number of generating units in response to an operational anomaly”. I tried google translate and it took down their website. Apart from price, we have little to complain about here. When you compare to other islands, we are actually blessed.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    CUC is the only power supply company in cayman I personally have traveled to a lot of places in the word and now this days it’s really hard to have consistent energy all the time .
    So thank you CUC . safety comes first….




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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a monopoly and wish we had another one so we could get fair prices.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You get the best service through the company being profit-motivated. Remember, if they are not up and running, they are not making money. They want the power to be on to make as much money as possible. How quickly do you think some hippie company that wants an ‘okay’ profit would fix an outage? Plus, outages are normally caused by a difference in supply and demand that triggers area-wide shutdowns to protect the generators. Fewer customers, fewer generators, less flexibility, less maintenance, less reinvestment = more outages, except they’ll be smaller and happen around the island from time to time instead of rarely. And how much do you think you would really save? This never makes sense if you examine it.




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        • Anonymous says:

          You forget that half the population come from other places where monopolies are prohibited and competition encouraged by government regulation, and independent oversight authorities to monitor them. We know that opening up the market encourages those utility providers to provide a superior service, less or no outages, better prices and where I come from, compensation for perished freezer products and other damage caused by prolonged outages. It encourages the providers to be more responsive and responsible rather than take us all for granted and poor service like we get from CUC.

          It’s called competition, and Cayman desperately needs it.




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          • Anonymous says:

            In Economics, CUC is an example of a natural monopoly – that is, a company which is in an industry where the cost to enter the industry is so high, no other company can come in. If another energy company wanted to come to Cayman, they would have to:

            1. Buy their own generators
            2. Buy their own land on which to set up their company
            3. Run their own lines
            4. Import their own fuel
            5. Pay their own linemen and administration
            6. Pay the necessary government fees, taxes and duties
            7. Buy their own electricity poles, etc.

            One can see that such an endeavor would cost the new company upwards of hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars.

            The only other viable alternative to sort of mitigate the high cost of electricity in Cayman would be for more residents to use less electricity and/or get solar panels then hook up to the energy grid. You would only then need to use CUC’s electricity when the sun isn’t out, thereby driving down cost of electricity.

            I hope this helps.




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            • Anonymous says:

              Their monthly gross income could be upwards of $30MM. In relation to your solar comment, CUC controls that market too and no one but them are making the real money from it.




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          • Anonymous says:

            No we don’t forget that. But even in many larger jurisdictions your’e still dealing with monopoly (or at best oligopoly) utilities. They just hide it in their company structure(s). In the Cayman context it would, rationally, mean forcing CUC (and Brac Power & Light?) to split in two. A distribution (lines) company and a power generation company. This means that you buy your power from CUC-Lines who buys their power from CUC-Generator, or whomever. This is actually similar to what is already occurring where when additional generation is needed OfReg (IIRC) handle the ‘auction’ and anyone can bid to supply the power to CUC. The only time its worked so far is with the commercial solar company. Because, as someone else posted (below), Cayman (like most places when it comes to utilities) naturally gravitates towards natural monopolies. – But, please, keep telling us how its done in other places that are nothing like the Cayman Islands. Us uneducated natives have no idea about economics and stuff like that.




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      • Anonymous says:

        It simply isn’t feasible to have multiple utility companies in one given area. What if there were two, three separate CUC and Water Authorities serving gt to ee? Would you like them to tear up the road three times to run three separate pipelines? Does it make sense to have 3x the lightpoles? Extremely inefficient.




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      • Big-Sun says:

        Wind,Solar power with battery storage = Off the grid – !




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    • Anonymous says:

      Seemingly you have only traveled to third world countries because I too have traveled a lot, including other parts of the Caribbean, and have never known anything like this – its really bad here.




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      • Anonymous says:

        They must just be shutting you off. That or you never leave the house. I’ve been living where I am for 18 months and I can’t recall an outage lasting long enough to bother me or have any effect on me. Now when my AC broke, that was another matter.




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        • Anonymous says:

          You live in town/WB/SMB don’t you? People living out East are accustomed to many more outages than you will ever experience. We have at least half a dozen a year… but we already had 4 of those in as many weeks.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Like Puerto Rico, Anguilla, Barbuda? PR was chronic before the storm.




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  8. Fair Play says:

    Well done Gordon for being positive, but living in the same area, the previous two blackouts within the last 3 weeks caused me to lose my broadband connection which on each occasion took 36 hours to restore.I agree it’s good not to have your freezer defrost, but not to lose the internet.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully you have your broadband connected to a UPS or at lease a surge suppressor so that the device is protected from power fluctuations. These can be caused by all sorts of issues.




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    • Anonymous says:

      First world problems. You could have gone to Camana Bay and got wife for free. It was still working.




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    • Whatcha Say says:

      I run a very large capacity UPS with ONLY my ADSL on it, and it will run for about 10 hours without CUC. As the phone system is backed by battery and/or generator power it is very unlikely that internet will go down in an outage. I had internet AFTER IVAN for 4 days before I ran out of fuel for my generator and the UPS finally gave out! My laptop has another large capacity UPS on it and will run for 6-8 hours (on internal battery) even after the UPS winds down after about 6 hours of service. BTW, I was one of the few in WB that never lost power that day! :-p




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  9. Kadafe says:

    Just in time for summer, be prepared for price hikes to “cover damage repairs”
    Cant say we didn’t expect that when next’s month bill rolls around.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    4th power cut in 2 weeks for me. Considering the price we pay the services received are outrageous.




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  11. Power Monitor says:

    Now tell us what really happened




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  12. Edgar A. Poe says:

    East End was without power for over an hour too.




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  13. Gordon Barlow says:

    In our area – South Church Street – the blackout was very short. Well done CUC for getting our power back so soon. Thank you.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Try living out East we frequently have black outs and rarely for less than an hour. They always get your side back up first.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Wacky private sector strikes again.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    so cuc are terrible at english too…….




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