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Tūkstošiem mājsaimniecību paliek bez elektrības

Thousands had power cuts in Latvia due to rapid thaw

Thousands of households experienced power cuts on Wednesday, January 10. The electricity distribution network  Sadales Tīkls explains that breakdowns are caused by rapid changes in air temperature, Latvian Television rpeorted.

For example, in Iecava, people were without electricity for most of the day. But Iecava wasn't the only place – many reported power cuts on social media:

“Electricity is flashing in Cēsis all evening.”

“Just lost electricity in all of Limbaži.”

“Gulbene doesn't have electricity either. Radiators cool.”

“In Ādaži, electricity went out overnight, in Berģi it's interrupted, in Berģi Depo there is no electricity.”

“Electricity will have teleported to Vivi trains.”

In Bauska, the electricity went out on Wednesday. The municipality reports that primary school, 2nd secondary school, and two kindergartens closed. A generator was turned on at the hospital, and some elective services were canceled.

The “Sadales Tīkls” company emphasized that this was an exceptional occasion. The frost and the rapid rise in temperatures are to blame as condensation forms in transformer buildings.

LTV asked for comment at the Energy Institute of Rīga Technical University (RTU). It noted that most often such problems occur in substations built during Soviet times. “In the old brick double-decker substations. More modern compact ones may also have condensation, but less,” said Laila Zemīte, an associate professor at the RTU Energy Institute.

“There is a correlation [of power loss] with the modernization of the network. [..] This situation shows that it needs to be done even more intensively and more. There is a need to increase reserve options,” Zemīte said.

Reserve options mean that if one substation stops working, another can restore the electricity supply within ten minutes. Why hasn't this happened? “Sadales Tīkls” said it was not always possible. The company also mentioned that every year security is improved and we have fewer statistical power cuts than in Estonia or Lithuania. The company predicts there will be fewer and fewer such cases this week.

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