THE reason why most of Portsmouth lost power on Monday night has been revealed by Scottish and Southern Electric Networks.
The city was plunged into darkness on Monday night in a widespread power cut that saw 48,000 people affected – with further incidents on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The cause of Monday’s incident – which was more widespread than those in the past couple of days – has also now been identified.
A spokesman for the company said: ‘Initial findings of the investigation suggest the cause to be a failure of a component on the 132kV main overhead line that delivers power to Portsmouth from Lovedean.
‘Faults of this nature are very rare and generally affect one circuit, or power line, resulting in no interruption to supplies.
‘Unusually, this failure affected both circuits which meant we had to re-route supplies from other parts of the network through a process called switching.
‘Following an essential visual check of the fault location to ensure safety, all customers were restored within 37 minutes.’
SSEN has confirmed that Tuesday and Wednesday’s power cuts were connected, but that the issue is being resolved today.
The spokesman explained that they had not identified the cause of Tuesday’s power cut immediately.
They said: ‘We restarted the power but had not identified the cause of the fault.
‘We now know that an underground cable fault that caused the problems on Tuesday and Wednesday – those incidents are related.
‘It was a small, isolated fault on the network but it still caused an issue for our customers.
‘It’s coincidental and desperately unlucky that this has happened in the same week as the Monday incident.’
The incident had affected residents in the Shearer Road and New Road area of the city on Tuesday.
But SSEN believes that the problem won’t be repeated.
The spokesman explained: ‘We are out in the area today to get the problem fixed, and there should be no issues like this happening again.
‘Underground cable faults do happen from time to time but the repairs are underway – but we don’t expect Portsmouth residents to have any more problems.’
Conservative Party chief, Cllr Donna Jones, had used the incident to advocate Victory Energy, saying that the council’s own company ‘could play its part in eliminating major power cuts.’
But SSEN says that this would not be the case, as they would still be providing the electricity cables for the city.
A spokesman said: ‘We are aware that there’s lots of discussions about Victory Energy, but we would still be the licensed provider of electricity in the city.
‘The important thing for us is that the network is still very reliable in Portsmouth.
‘Clearly there was a very big problem this week but these faults are extremely rare.’