Update: Power outage caused by Snettisham line fault

Students stand in a dark hallway at the Juneau-Douglas High School during the power outage this morning. (Photo by Mikko Wilson)

Students stand in a dark hallway at the Juneau-Douglas High School after the power went out this morning. (Photo by Mikko Wilson)

Update | 3:30 p.m.

Alaska Electric Light & Power reports all customers were back on hydroelectric generation by early afternoon. The cause of the transmission line failure remains a mystery.

Update | 12:00 p.m.

Alaska Electric Light & Power Spokesman Alec Mesdag says this morning’s area-wide power outage was caused by a fault along the utility’s Snettisham transmission line.

Crews initially thought the outage was caused by a turbine failure at the Snettisham hydroelectric facility. Later they determined it was an issue with the line that feeds most of Juneau’s power.

Mesdag says the transmission line is working fine. The cause of the fault has not been determined.

“This happens in town a lot on distribution, where maybe a branch will fall off a tree, it’ll hit the lines, create a fault and then fall to the ground. And there will be no lasting impact to our system, but it will cause an outage,” Mesdag says. “So, something of that nature may have happened out there, but at this point I don’t believe there has been a specific cause identified.”

The outage started about 8:40 a.m. Mesdag says AEL&P fired up its diesel generators and had power restored to most of the borough by 10:30. He says crews should have the system switched back to hydro power by this afternoon.

Original post:

Alaska Electric Light & Power reports an area-wide power outage Friday morning was caused by a problem with a turbine at the Snettisham Hydroelectric Facility.

AEL&P Spokeswoman Deb Driscoll says the utility turned on its diesel generators to restore power to customers in Juneau. Once power is restored to all parts of the borough, Driscoll says AEL&P will work to restore hydroelectric power.

The outage began about 8:39 a.m. Power was restored to the downtown area about 9:06 a.m.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.