Emergency crews were available for several hours. The strong winds affected several services in the west, north and south, mainly distribution and low voltage.
The Neuquén Provincial Energy Entity (EPEN) reports that during the weekend, where significant winds and gusts prevailed throughout the area, several services in the west, north and south area were affected, mainly distribution and low voltage. .
In this sense, the general manager of EPEN Mario Moya explained that “we were present throughout the province, and we had to work a lot with the emergency crews, for several hours. We had a very important outage on the 132 kV transportation line, which goes from Zapala to Las Lajas – affecting said town, Loncopué, Caviahue El Huecú and El Cholar, added to an inconvenience in entering to be able to repair it, but once it was was able to enter, during the early morning hours the service was restored on Sunday.”
“The situation was complicated but it really could be restored in most of the localities. There were some supplies that were out of stock, let’s say, or some appendages where it was difficult to reach, but work was done throughout the weekend to be able to restore the service,” he added.
On the other hand, on Monday a scheduled outage was carried out from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., which consisted of taking out of service one of the transformers that powers a large part of the town of Centenario. In this regard, Moya indicated that “this task was within the framework of the readjustment tasks, due to the accident we had in our facilities, and already thinking about the growing demand in the summer, what we did was repower these outlets.”
Technically, underground conductors were incorporated to double the transportation capacity to the distribution centers and from these to the feeders.
The general manager anticipated that next Sunday they will work on similar tasks but in the other transformer, “with which we would have the facilities ready to be able to absorb the demand that is growing, let’s say, starting in November, December, which begins to grow.” in important percentages,” he explained.
Vandalism to EPEN facilities
During the weekend it was reported about the entry into a transformer station, located in the western area of the capital of Neuquén, and the theft of copper from a reserve transformer.
Added to this were complaints in the town of El Chañar, where some transformers on lines in the rural area were destroyed, leaving users without supply. Meanwhile, in Centenario, the cutting of conductors of a medium voltage line was detected while maintenance tasks were being carried out.
Faced with the increase in these criminal acts, the community is warned about the risks both for those who carry them out and for the users they affect. The destruction of transformers can cause both the risk of electrocution and fire, and in medium voltage lines there is a risk of the formation of electric arcs that can cause serious injuries and even death to anyone who attempts this type of action. Added to this are the imbalances that can be generated in the electrical distribution network.