power outageYesterday’s misty and wet weather conditions created a fault in Mohave Electric Cooperative’s 69kV sub-transmission system that resulted in circuits opening at two substations. The outage at 5:01pm affected 9747 members in Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley. Power was restored in 20 minutes to 6640 members and all power was restored at 6:35 pm. “Misty weather conditions that occur during a winter rain event can cause more problems for our system than the hard down pouring rains that we experience in the summer,” said Tyler Carlson, Mohave Electric CEO. “In our environment, where we go for long periods of time without rain,  we have this issue that other locations, like Washington state, where it rains a lot don’t have. Our system equipment accumulates a build up of dirt and bird droppings and since we have very little rain, the dirt and droppings don’t get washed off. They just keep accumulating over time,” Carlson explained. “When it’s misty, the dirt and droppings on the electrical equipment get moist and become a muddy consistency, and that provides a way to conduct electricity and an arc happens. Since the line where the arc occurred is a sub-transmission line, the number of members affected was larger than if the arc happened on equipment in the distribution system.” “We are aware that our phone lines were overloaded with the number of outage calls and the phone carrier also experienced some issues. We’re not satisfied with this situation and we know our members aren’t satisfied either. We’re already planning for the future, and investing in a new Outage Management System that works in synergy with the Advanced Metering Infrastructure investments. When implemented these improvements will improve our member’s ability to report outages and will provide our operations crews with system information during and after outages.”  Carlson said.