Bad Weather in Mexico Leaves Belize in the Dark

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Updated: September 17, 2015

Just after seven o’clock last night there was a countrywide power outage.  It was a brief outage that lasted for about twenty minutes with some areas experiencing subsequent outages lasting not more than three minutes.  This morning the Belize Electricity Limited sent out a release explaining the cause for last night’s blackout, citing bad weather conditions in Mexico as the main reason.  In the release, it reads, quote, “Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) reported that ongoing inclement weather conditions in Yucatan, Mexico on Wednesday evening caused faults at CFE’s Ticul Substation, which supplies power to Southern Yucatan and Belize’s national grid. As a result, system trips occurred, causing unplanned interruptions in power supply to these areas.  The entire country of Belize experienced a power interruption at 7:20 p.m. and BEL was able to restore power within 20 minutes to all areas, using its Gas Turbine and local hydro sources with support from CFE.  Another CFE system trip caused a second nationwide power interruption at 8:35 p.m. Within 20 minutes, power supply was restored to all areas.  To minimize any further interruptions in the event of another system trip with Mexico’s CFE, power supply to the national grid from CFE was reduced and the grid was segregated until the weather-related instability dissipated. The “all clear” was given at 11:30 p.m. and the system was returned to its normal mode of operation.  Low water levels at the major hydro plants and maintenance at two of the power plants in the country are presently limiting the Company’s contingencies to mitigate against weather-related instabilities. Plans are in place to resolve the maintenance issues by weekend.”  End of quote.