Large areas of southern Taiwan still in the dark this evening but power supply sufficient for tomorrow says Taipower

Power was restored to most affected areas following nationwide blackouts caused by an accident at Xingda Power Plant in Kaohsiung City this morning, however, many areas of southern Taiwan were plunged into darkness again as the sun went down on solar power arrays this evening, March 3.

As of 8:30 pm this evening power outages were still being reported over much of Kaohsiung City’s central business district, and areas of Pingtung, Tainan, Chiayi, and Yunlin counties. An estimated 700,000 households were affected.

According to the latest statistics from the Fire Department as of 8:15 pm, there were 328 cases of people trapped in elevators nationwide today, and 395 people were rescued due to the power outages.

The accident at the Xingda Power Plant caused a chain reaction of outages starting with a tripping of extra high voltage Longci Substation which cut power supplies to and from several other power stations. The two electricity generating units at the Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County went into emergency shutdown after losing external power supply. The Dalin and Nanfang power plants were also taken off the grid. With the four power plants offline or completely shut down, Taiwan lost around 30% of its power supply.

A plume of steam is seen emanating from the Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County Taiwan.
Taipower assured the public that what appeared as a plume of white smoke at the Maanshan Power Plant in Pingtung County was actually steam being ejected as a standard operating procedure during an emergency shutdown today, March 3, 2022.

While most of the power outages were resolved by around 2:00 pm, at around 4:00 pm national power supplier Taipower said that the gradual setting of the sun affected the output of photovoltaics, and that the electricity supply to some southern consumers would be affected. Taipower explained that there was “an imbalance in supply” and that it would take time to bring production back up to full capacity.

Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua apologized for the third time today at a hastily-convened press conference at 9:30 pm this evening.

Speaking at the press conference, a Taipower spokesperson said that power had been restored to most households but there were still around 17,000 households without power in Kaohsiung City and Yunlin County.

The Xingda, Maanshan, Nanfang, and Dalin power stations had not yet been reconnected to the grid, but there was still sufficient capacity to meet the nation’s power demand for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s peak demand is expected to be 30.7 million kilowatts, and surplus capacity is estimated at 6.5%, the Taipower spokesperson said.

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