Widespread electricity blackouts hit Armenian grid
Large-scale blackouts have been recorded across Armenia today. In Yerevan, subway passengers had to be evacuated, and mobile and internet providers also experienced technical issues.
What’s causing the blackouts?
The Armenian authorities reported earlier today that problems had arisen at the Yerevan Thermal Power Plant and at the 5th power unit of the Hrazdan Thermal Power Plant.
Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration Hakob Vardanyan held a press conference, and stated that the blackout in Armenia could have been triggered by problems in the Iranian power system.
“The energy systems of Armenia and Iran are synchronously connected. One of the causes of the accident in Armenia might be an accident in Iran. Our colleagues in Iran reported similar problems. We will not endeavor to prove it, but this is one of the probable reasons.”
The deputy minister said that a large voltage drop had occurred in the network.
The northern regions of the republic are temporarily being fed by the energy system of Georgia.
“Currently, Lori and Tavush provinces of Armenia (the north of the republic) are connected to the power system of Georgia. In one hour from there we receive 28 MW of electricity. From Iran now we are getting 42 MW. Energy production in Armenia has been restored by almost 70%. Within an hour, the 5th power unit of the Hrazdan TPP will be connected to the power grid. During these hours, the consumption in the country was usually 850 MW, and now about 600 MW are being produced.”
Vardanyan said that if there were no more drops, then by 18:00 the work of the whole power system will have been fully restored.
After the shutdown, the Yerevan Metro stopped working, and passengers were evacuated.
Interruptions were also recorded in the operation of railway lines, however, they were swiftly dealt with.
Since June 1, the Metsamor atomic power station has ceased producing energy for scheduled maintenance. It was not hooked up to the system during the drop. Moreover, atomic workers disconnected it from the power system during the oscillations, and diesel generators were connected on site. After the oscillations were dealt with, the station was again connected to the general system. The authorities report that there is no need for concern about the nuclear power station.
Many regions had issues with telephone communications and the internet. In homes where water is supplied by pumps there were problems with water supply.
Zvartnots Airport was also affected, but later put back online.
The Minister of Health, in turn, reported that all clinics and hospitals are operating normally.
He also asked citizens to use electricity only when necessary, “so that there would be enough for important institutions.”