Taipower informed consumers via a text message alert at 8:10 pm this evening that there was insufficient power in the national grid and areas will face rolling power outages from 8:50 pm.
The insufficient supply is reported to have happened due to a coal-fired power unit at the Xingda (Hsinta) power plant being shut down at 12:54 pm due to a combustion management system module failure.
Although the fault was repaired, and the power unit was restarted at 2:29 pm, by 7:35 pm, only 40% of its capacity was going into the grid. A surge in power demand at around 8:00 pm created an insufficiency of supply.
Hydropower capacity has also been affected by a severe drought. While hydropower was sufficient to make up for the power shortage during the afternoon, by evening, hydropower capacity had to be reduced due to insufficient water supply, Executive Yuan spokesperson Lo ping-cheng said.
National power supplier Taipower announced that it would implement district-based alternating power outages to ration power, with affected districts losing power for around 50 minutes at a time.
At the time of writing there have already been power outages reported in Keelung, Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung City, Changhua, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Hualien and Pingtung County.
Firefighters have received multiple reports of people being trapped in elevators in New Taipei City, and Keelung City.
In New Taipei City the first round of blackouts affected 94,205 households in Wugu, Banqiao, Taishan, Xinzhuang, Shulin, Xindian, Zhonghe, and Tucheng districts.
The power outages come just several days after a series of nation-wide power outages with a problem caused by a substation failure at the same power plant, located in Kaohsiung City, May 13.
Hot weather has created a surge in power demand as people turn on air conditioners to cope with high temperatures. Coupled with economic growth in the tech sector causing a ramp up in production of products such as semiconductors and computer chips, power demand has broken historical records for the month of May several times already this month.
Taipower announced that it had fully restored the power supply at 9:40 pm.
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