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July 12, 2006 at 10:45am

Chugach Electric power outage leaves nearly 32,000 customers without power

Chugach Electric Association customers suffered an outage this morning after a raven came into contact with energized electrical equipment in the utility's University Substation. The resulting sequence of events cut the flow of power to seven neighborhood substations. The outage started at 8:07 a.m. and affected nearly 32,000 members on the eastern edge of Anchorage from the Glenn Highway to Potter Marsh.

The University Substation is a bulk power substation that receives high voltage power from Chugach power plants. The voltage is lowered and then transmitted to distribution substations in neighborhoods and areas throughout the community via 34.5-kilovolt sub-transmission lines. When the bird made contact with the electrical equipment it triggered system protection that opened breakers and cut power to the seven substations.

Chugach moved quickly to restore power as utility workers brought the system back online one substation at a time, closing breakers and re-energizing substations. The first customers had power within 10 minutes, and six of the seven substations were back in service within 30 minutes. The last of the customers - served by Chugach's Hillside Substation - had service restored at 9:45 a.m.

Chugach is the largest electric utility in Alaska, providing power for Alaskans throughout the Railbelt through retail, wholesale and economy energy sales.

For more information, contact Patti Bogan, 762-4736 (desk) 242-0704 (cell)