Full power should be restored by 9:40 pm: Ministry of Economic Affairs

Full power capacity should be restored by 9:40 pm, ending a series of blackouts around Taiwan, the Minister of Economic Affairs said at an emergency press conference this evening, May 13.

The announcement was made after island-wide power rationing in the form of rolling blackouts plunged millions of households and businesses into darkness for up to one hour at a time from 3:00 pm this afternoon.

The power rationing was implemented after a power grid accident at the Xingda (Hsinta) Power Plant in Kaohsiung City at 2:37 pm resulted in a shutdown.

There was insufficient backup power to meet demand, according an emergency text message alerting residents.

Taipower said that the problem was a “grid failure,” rather than a problem with power supply. The problem was due to a bus bar failure at the North UHV Substation at Luzhu Road in Kaohsiung City, Taipower said. The failure meant that the Xingda Power Plant was unable to output electricity, tripping two gas-fired, and two coal-fired units.

The cause of the bus bar failure is still under investigation.

What is a bus bar?

Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua bowed to the public to apologize at the press conference, and said that the number of households affected by the power cuts should begin reducing from 7:10 pm, and full power capacity is expected to be restored by 9:40 pm.

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