CUC blames substation upgrades for power cuts

| 28/05/2019 | 23 Comments
Cayman News Service

CUC Prospect substation

(CNS): An increase in the amount and length of power cuts and number of customers affected recently is due to upgrades CUC has been undertaking at various substations on Grand Cayman, according to the power company. With the exception of North Side, customers east of Prospect have experienced above normal levels of outages over the last month because of this “very active period of substation upgrades”, which reduces system redundancy. This means that when lightning strikes or a car crashes into a pole, restoring power takes longer, leaving more customers in the dark.

CUC said that when they are all completed, these upgrades will increase capacity and reliability to customers but in the interim there may be more outages.

The most recent was in the early hours of Sunday, 26 May, when 3,250 customers were affected, double the number that would normally be expected under the circumstances. When lightning hit a pole, although line crews responded immediately to replace the damaged equipment, customers in Savannah, Newlands, Lower Valley, Bodden Town, Frank Sound and East End experienced a very early morning power cut of more than four hours.

“Customers regained service at various intervals throughout the morning as CUC personnel worked diligently to safely restore service,” officials said in a release explaining the recent surge in power outages.

CUC said upgrades to the South Sound, North Sound Road and Rum Point substations were completed in October, March and April but the Bodden Town substation is currently out of service for refurbishment. That is planned to be fully back in service by the end of June.

“During the intervening period, customers who would normally be supplied from the Bodden Town substation are being supplied from the Frank Sound or Prospect substations and are exposed to a greater risk of outages,” CUC warned.

In June it will begin construction of a new Prospect substation, which is expected to be finished in 2020 but that construction should pose only a minimal risk of outages as the existing substation will remain in service throughout. Meanwhile, the power provider also plans major upgrades to Frank Sound substation in 2021.

“Following this major programme of upgrades and refurbishments to the eastern substations, CUC will be able to meet foreseeable load growth with increased reliability for its customers,” the company stated. “As the Cayman Islands continue to grow and our population increases, CUC continues to invest in our country and our people, consistently striving to achieve our vision of empowering Cayman to be a global leader.”

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Category: Business, Local News, utilities

Comments (23)

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  1. E. Lectron says:

    Nationalisation Or at least bring the company back into Caymanian ownership.

  2. Anonymous says:

    More Caymanians should buy shares in C U C and grow with the company, just sign up and pay extra on their monthly bill, very good investment

  3. Anonymous says:

    long overdue for a competitive power company

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CUC for continuing to provide us with the most stable supply of electricity in the Caribbean.. by far… by extra far! Anyone complaining about a cut here and there due to extenuating circumstances should tour the region for a reality check. Not only is the supply here the most reliable but the response times and quality of electrical support persons is second to none. Well done I say.

  5. Johnny Rotten says:

    Bogus excuses! Reliability now is worse that it was in the mid 90’s. Really, does Mr. Hew believe that these frequent outages are befitting of a “world class” jurisdiction? Well if he does, he’d better wake up and smell what he’s shovelling.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Only in Cayman are cuts to service and elimination of capacity redundancies oversold to public as “upgrades”, “empowering” us….more like, powering, sometimes, enjoy our anti-service and monopolistic pricing.

    • Anonymous says:

      yep…pure wonderland stuff…

    • Anonymous says:

      You should read the article and understand that to upgrade a facility it is necessary to take it out of service.This means that it is not available to mitigate faults elsewhere.
      A good analogy is that it is sometimes necessary to divert traffic while a section of road is being upgraded. Then if a traffic accident happens on the detour it becomes a major traffic jam.
      This is unavoidable as upgrades are necessary to prepare for population growth.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Should be renewable energy they are using as upgrades. Wake up cayman, cuc is winning the biggest scam of the year still. Even with the cruise port as computation in that category this year they are still winning!

    • Anonymous says:

      They are discussing distribution not production of power. Even with renewable production there is still the need for resilient distribution and therefore periodic upgrades.
      p.s. – I do not work with CUC but I do understand their reasoning in the article.

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember, it is you who will end up paying for it, and it is not cheap!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Emailed me yesterday that my bill was a day late. A customer that pays on time ALL the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s probably an automated email and it’s certainly intended to be helpful. As someone who pays bills on time all the time except twice (I once missed a water bill and once missed a credit card bill) and was subsequently bamboozled by the finance charges on the next bill… I would have loved an email one day after they were due to tell me I hadn’t paid.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Their service is so bad and no one to hold them accountable. Ofreg refuses to do anything about the mediocre service to which we are subjected in this Island. While the crazy bills continue.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Once a month the power goes out somewhere.
    If you are 3 days behind with your bill, they cut you off.

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