County: Townsite Power Outage Set For Wednesday


After Sunday’s townsite-wide power outage, Los Alamos townsite residents and businesses have been patiently waiting to find out when a system repair will take place. That repair is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

The townsite is on two electric supply lines fed by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). When one of those lines went down on Sunday, all electric customers were moved to the other supply line, doubling its usual electric load. LANL utility crews and Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) electric distribution staff have been working together to plan repairs on the line.

Customers on North Mesa and Barranca Mesa will be affected by the repair, as well North Community, Chapel Apartments, the Denver Steels and the Aspen School area. Los Alamos High School should not lose power. LANL’s crew will begin work at 8 a.m. and won’t know the full impact until after they begin. They anticipate having to de-energize the damaged electric supply line around 11 a.m., which will cut electricity to the affected areas.  Depending on the severity of the damage they find, the outage could last from 1-to-8 hours.

To reduce the number of utility customers affected by the repair, LANL and DPU coordinated to move DPU’s Western Area, Eastern Area and downtown customers to other LANL feeders that aren’t typically used to backup the townsite.

Customers in the impacted areas who have medical equipment that relies on electricity should have alternate equipment and/or plans ready.

To prevent outages due to overloading of the system, DPU has been requesting that townsite customers reduce their electric consumption as much as they are reasonably able while the townsite is being fed by a single supply line. If all goes well on Wednesday, this guidance will end when power to the mesas is restored. In the meantime, residents can continue helping to reduce energy consumption by postponing doing laundry and running the dishwasher, lowering thermostats a couple degrees (especially when away from home) and turning off lights and electronics that aren’t being actively used.

To stay informed as this situation develops, follow DPU on Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor.