The interconnected power system chart with Thursday’s drop and current numbers

After massive blackout occurred on Wednesday due to a breakdown of a high voltage line that left several provinces without electricity, the electrical network that connects and transports energy to the different regions of Argentina (SADI) is operational and in normal operation.

This was confirmed to GlobeLiveMedia by sources from the Ministry of Energy and industry companies who indicated that the system has been operational and operating normally since it was replaced at around 7:07 p.m. yesterday. Could there be risks of a repetition of this situation of generalized cuts? The risks of certain service failures that may exist are not related to the situation that occurred yesterday, they are typical of any system, they explained.

However, on the morning of this Thursday, there are still electricity users in the AMBA zone who remain no service. There are around 40,000 Edesur users and around 5,965 Edenor users. Official sources have assured that these cuts should not be linked to the breakdown that occurred in the system on Wednesday and therefore impute responsibility to the distributors (Edenor there Edesur). For this reason, there is a performance about the Electricity Regulatory Entity (Enre).

From Edenor they explained that of the total there are some 830 cases that belong to scheduled outages for maintenance work and that the rest are delays from the disconnection of Wednesday. In Edesur, they were analyzing the situation to confirm the reasons.

High voltage lines near the Atucha I atomic power plant in the province of Buenos Aires.  REUTERS/Matias Baglietto
High voltage lines near the Atucha I atomic power plant in the province of Buenos Aires. REUTERS/Matias Baglietto

In the hours following the release of the high-voltage line, the peak of users without electricity was just over 626,000 Edesur users at 5:15 p.m. and around 69,000 for Edenor at 2:25 a.m.

“The system is standardized, registered and risk-free,” Department of Energy sources explained this morning. “It is still premature to say what happened,” they warned, but they confirmed that the investigation had been launched in the General Rodríguez area where the meadow fire that caused the disconnection of the 500 kW high voltage line that connects this city of Buenos Aires with Bell.

On Wednesday evening, there was a deployment in the area, both by the police and the justice of Buenos Aires. This morning, in statements on the radio, Ricardo Casallegal and administrative secretary of the Ministry of Economy, said he was “almost convinced” that the fire was intentional.

“There are firm suspicions of sabotage, as the minister says (Sergio Massa) in his own complaint that he has certainties and may have been intentional. We’re pretty sure it was intentional. What has caused some concern is that the fire sources we saw in the video are very specific, below the power line. The person or persons who caused the incident know that with smoke or heat the system automatically protects itself and causes damage to the population, as happened yesterday when 20 million people found themselves without electricity,” he told Radio 10.

Sergio Massa, Santiago Yanotti and Ricardo Casal
Sergio Massa, Santiago Yanotti and Ricardo Casal

“When all of this started, the first guess that was made was that the system didn’t hold up because of the voltage. The system protected itself, it wasn’t about excess voltage or failure. ‘a breakdown in central electrical distribution,’ he said.

Given the imbalance caused by the fires, the electrical system immediately reacted by cutting production for its own protection. As a result of this interruption, the service was affected in large areas of the country, such as AMBA and the provinces of Santa Fe, Córdoba, Mendoza, San Juan and southern NOA.

Although at first there was talk of problems at the Atucha I nuclear power plant, the Ministry of Energy clarified that it remained shut down for safety reasons – according to a protocol – until it could be reconnected to the system.

This blackout which affected several provinces in the country was one of the largest since the massive Father’s Day blackout in 2019. However, industry sources noted several differences between the two episodes. “These are totally different situations because of demand management,” they said.

During the day Wednesday, electricity demand levels were very high while during the 2019 power outage on Father’s Day Sunday, demand was very low and decisions were made in l sending of energy that generated the risks.

“When there is little demand, you can decide what kind of energy to use and where to take it. In yesterday’s case, all systems had to be operational,” they added.

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