Power Station Failure Causes All-Island Blackout On St Lucia

St Lucia experiences island-wide power cut after a failure at the country’s only power station.

The Caribbean island’s electricity network went offline at approximately 7:55 am local time on Tuesday 21 January after a fault at the Cul De Sac Power Station led to a complete grid shutdown.

The country’s population of approximately 180,000 were left without electricity for a couple of hours until repair works were completed.

“The power outage was caused by a major internal fault at the Cul De Sac power station. The fault triggered the protection systems at the power station, resulting in a total system shutdown.

“After the faulted zone was isolated, appropriate checks and inspections commenced and the process of restoring the system was initiated.

“Power restoration started around 9:05 am and was completed at 10:13 am.”

– Statement from electricity grid operator LUCELEC

LUCELEC is continuing to investigate what caused the fault.

Commissioned in 1990, the Cul De Sac Power Station is the sole generator on St Lucia with a capacity of approximately 86 MW. It replaced the country’s two previous plants at Union and Vieux Fort.

The all-island blackout isn’t the first such event St Lucia has experienced in recent years.

On 4 September last year, another internal fault at Cul De Sac led to a half-day blackout. In May 2015, a generator failure caused an overload that resulted in a three-hour blackout.

While January 2011’s Hurricane Tomas produced another island-wide grid failure.

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