Technicians are Trying to Restore Electricity in Cuba, at ‘Total Zero’ Since Last Night

In the middle of the blackout, the illuminated windows of the Habana Libre hotel and the wasted power in the construction of Tower K stand out, at dawn this Wednesday. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 28 September 2022 — In the midst of absolute darkness on the Island, Cuban Television, in a special report at midnight this Wednesday, updated information about the general blackout, from which only citizens who had electric generators were spared. The technical director of the Electric Union, Lázaro Guerra, explained that the thermal power plants Lidio Ramón Pérez, in Felton, and 10 de Octubre, in Nuevitas now had started up, and he postponed a new report until 7:30 this morning, but the tone was not excessively optimistic.

The engineer explained again, in terms that were too technical for the population, the progress to solve the absence of electricity generation that was triggered last night, when the system was fractured “in the western, center and eastern links” and decompensated to the point of generating “total zero.”

Guerra explained that in order to recover the National Electrical System, each of the three systems must be restored separately to finally unite them. In this sense, the eastern area had already improved at midnight, but “every time it was integrated, the opposite happened in the western one.” The specialist explained that with the distributed generation (generators and other small sources of energy), there began to be enough voltage to start Felton 1 and Nuevitas, and he predicted that electricity could soon return to that region.

In the central area, the situation is also relatively encouraging, since the combined-cycle plant in Varadero managed to start. But the problem is in the west, the area most damaged by Hurricane Ian, where there are breakdowns due to the strong winds and rains left by the storm.

“The process is going to be more complex, because you have to recertify the circuits that were overloaded and restore the load in parallel,” Guerra explained. According to him, in the western region, work would be done all morning to try to get the Tallapiedra power plants, in Havana; Máximo Gómez, in Artemisa; and Santa Cruz, in Mayabeque, up and running as soon as possible.

“Mariel is complicated, because of the wind and water, and you have to heat the whole plant. It should be incorporated tomorrow at some point,” said the Minister of Energy and Mines, Liván Arronte, who also spoke and didn’t have good news for that region.

“We have tested some circuits and the engines have been fired. We haven’t had many results in Havana; every time we manage to have an engine in service and connect it with the load, the circuits shut down, so we have to check every now and then,” the minister said.

However, both agreed that on Wednesday all the power plants should be able to start, although it remains to be seen if the entire network can be stabilized.

“When we have a system in the three regions, we will be able to synchronize everything,” Guerra said. “The fundamental thing is to get to the large thermoelectric plants to begin the start-up process,” Arronte said.

The start-up process for the thermoelectric plants is being carried out with distributed generation, which, although scarce, speeds up the process, according to experts. That information allowed the journalist to make an invocation. “This was the idea of the unforgettable commander-in-chief Fidel Castro Ruz, put once again in this very complex situation,” he reflected aloud, passing the microphone to the engineer, who ignored the comment and continued with the technical details.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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