Some Berryville-area residents and businesses have been experiencing some electrical outages in the past week. The Rappahannock Electric Cooperative sent out this press release today detailing the problems:
In Response to Recent Outages in the Berryville Area of Clarke County
Fredericksburg, VA - The newly acquired Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) member-owners in the Berryville area of Clarke County have experienced extensive outages during the last week. We are conducting an all-out effort to identify and correct the problems on the distribution lines and substations that serve this area. A thorough patrol along the lines and an evaluation of the equipment is underway.
"We find the current level of reliability unacceptable and will continue to pursue corrective actions to limit the number and duration of outages in the future," said John Crawford, REC's Blue Ridge district manager in Front Royal. "Our goal is to provide our member-owners with safe, dependable electric service, and we appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we work to make the necessary improvements in the Berryville area," continued Crawford.
On June 14 REC crews found that fuses serving a mobile substation transformer had blown as a result of a faulty switch. The mobile transformer was in place while maintenance work was being performed on the permanent transformer in the Old Chapel substation, and member-owners in the Berryville area experienced an outage that lasted several hours.
On June 23 work at our Old Chapel substation in Clarke County required REC to briefly interrupt service at approximately 3 a.m. and at 6 a.m. in order to perform additional repair work in the substation. The work is now complete, and the station is back to normal operation.
At approximately 6:45 p.m. on June 23, we started receiving outage calls from our member-owners in Clarke County. Crews were dispatched immediately to the Berryville substation. A failure in the underground cable delivering high voltage electricity to the substation had caused the outage. In less than an hour crews re-energized the Berryville substation from an alternate source. At 1:15 a.m. on June 24, an overhead line failed, cutting power flow along the alternate source and causing the Berryville substation to de-energize again. Repairs were made to the overhead line, and power was restored at 5:30 a.m. Crews are currently working on final repairs on the underground conductor in order to return the Berryville substation back to normal. We anticipate having these repairs completed today. There will be a brief blank when the substation is switched from the alternate source currently supplying it to the primary source.
As REC continues to apply its high standards for system maintenance in the former Allegheny Power territory, our new members will see fewer of these interruptions in service. The Cooperative greatly appreciates everyone's understanding and patience during this transition period.
The Cooperative provides electric service to over 154,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., Rappahannock now maintains more than 15,500 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For information about REC, please visit www.myrec.coop