PORTLAND, Mich. (WLNS) — There will be a planned city wide power outage in Portland, Mich. beginning midnight Saturday, Oct. 16, and continuing until noon that same day
The Portland Board of Light and Power (PBLP) has scheduled a shutdown for all customers to install new reclosers (automatic, high-voltage electric switch) between the Consumers Energy substation, which provides about 95 percent of Portland’s power, and the city-wide electrical distribution system.
The current switches need to be replaced because they are no longer reliable. The recloser senses when trouble occurs and automatically shuts off the power. An instant later, the recloser turns the power back on, but if the trouble is still present, it shuts it off again.
There are natural gas and diesel fired generators that typically can provide power to the city in the case of an outage. However, the equipment to be replaced is located between the generators and the electrical distribution system. Therefore, there is no safe way to complete the maintenance required and generate power at the time of the outage.
While power is isolated for the recloser installation, Consumers Energy will be doing maintenance work on their substation and transmission line feeding the city. Also crews from the PBLP will be conducting preventative maintenance on the de-energized system.
If there is severe weather during the time of the planned outage, the recloser installation project will take place the following week starting midnight on Saturday, Oct. 22, and go until noon on Saturday Oct. 23rd.
CORRECTION: The City of Portland initially said the power would go out at midnight on Friday, Oct. 15, but they meant midnight on Saturday, Oct. 16