Power outage linked to losing Cleco connection

MORGAN CITY, La. — A citywide power outage occurred around 7:30 p.m. Friday due to the city losing its connection with Cleco through the switch at the Joseph Cefalu Steam Plant that feeds the city’s transformer, Morgan City Utilities Director Bill Cefalu said.

As of Monday morning, Cefalu did not know what may have caused the city’s Cleco tie to be lost.

Power was restored to the entire city at about 8:20 p.m., Cefalu said. Power was restored to parts of the city as early as around 7:40 p.m. Friday when the Cleco connection to the city’s transformer was restored, Cefalu said.

The city’s Unit 4 natural gas generator was in use when the city lost its connection with Cleco, Cefalu said. “It kicked off because it couldn’t handle all the load that we lost that was on the transformer,” Cefalu said. “We isolated everything, put the transformer back on and then brought everybody back up.”

The city got Unit 4 back on in about an hour to be able to carry everyone in the city. It usually takes an hour to two hours to get it back on, Cefalu said.

The transformer was carrying some households by 7:30 p.m., Cefalu said.

When the city put the transformer back on, Cefalu was able to pick up 33 megawatts, “which was practically all the city,” Cefalu said. Unit 4 was back on line by about 8:20 p.m. when all power had been restored to the city, Cefalu said.

“Once the generator was on, we made sure all the circuits were closed. We had to cycle a couple of them to make sure we didn’t put too much temperature on that transformer,” Cefalu said.

Cefalu does not know when the city’s new $1 million transformer will come in as the delivery date has been pushed back due to issues with inspections, he said. The shipping date for the transformer has not been scheduled, but will take five to six days to be shipped once a date is set, he said.

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