A nationwide blackout lasting 17 minutes affected the Dominican Republic at 11:34 yesterday morning. The blackout ended at 11:51am. However, Diario Libre says that according to official data, the blackout started earlier.
At 4:30 in the afternoon the system had 900 megawatts on line. The blackout occurred after the Dominican Corporation of State-owned Electricity Enterprises (CDEEE) announced that the energy supply would begin to improve as of Tuesday, while the executive vice-president, Radhames Segura was out of the country. The Superintendent of Electricity attributed the total blackout to the failure of the generators in Haina to stay on-line. Among these plants that were turned off, he listed Haina TG (turbo gas), 100 mw, due to a problem of vibration; Itabo I, with boiler problems; Los Minas V and VI, 118 mw, for lack of fuel, and Haina IV, 65 mw.
The total unavailable energy before the blackout was 411 megawatts, which, together with the demand caused by the hot weather, caused the current state of interruptions.
"The blackout came with 1,340 megawatts on-line and 702 mw out of service with voltage problems, and when AES Andres went off-line as it produced 272.27 megawatts, it was followed by San Felipe (in Puerto Plata-formerly Smith Enron) with its 164 and CESPM (formerly Cogentrix) with 84 mw," said the report from the Superintendent.
Meanwhile AES Dominicana reported that at the moment of the blackout it was providing 474 megawatts to the National Interconnected System of Electricity (SENI), and its units tried to regulate the frequency in order to avoid the complete collapse of the system.
They said that at 2:00 in the afternoon Los Mina VI was back on-line with 100 mw in an attempt to stabilize the SENI.
At the same time, the AES Andres gas turbine unit was coming back on-line and by the end of the afternoon it was expected that the other units of this group would be on-line with an average production of 500 mw.
In recent days the public has been complaining of the long interruptions of service, many lasting for 10 and 15 hours. The reasons given for the lack of service were "technical problems" at several of the generators.
The generators, nevertheless, complain that the Government's debt is more than US$500 million, and they have not received a penny over the past few months, while the authorities at the CDEEE say the debt is smaller, but they have problems with payment because the government's income has fallen.