The Village of Greenport power plant shut down at about 2:15 this morning, Mayor George Hubbard said in an interview today.
Something tripped a breaker, the mayor said. An electric department foreman responded and switched the breaker on, restoring power. Service to Greenport Village electric customers was out for about 35 minutes, Hubbard said.
The service interruption was weather-related, Hubbard said, but village employees are still working to determine the cause.
“Something must have hit the line coming in. We don’t know if it was on their side or our side, but something hit it and tripped the breaker,” Hubbard said.
Village Clerk Sylvia Pirillo sent out a press release this morning announcing the outage.
There is a planned service interruption tomorrow morning at 3. It is expected to last no more than an hour for any one customer — likely much less. Unlike this morning’s storm-related outage, tomorrow’s interruption in service will be done in stages. The entire village will not be out at once.
The planned interruption is necessary for the village to transfer the power load at its power plant from one transformer to another, which cannot currently be accomplished without shutting down the system, according to village administrator Paul Pallas. The transfer from transformer two to transformer one is needed in order to run a test required by state regulators.
Residents should take any necessary precautions if a member of their household relies on electric-powered medical equipment, the village said in an announcement sent yesterday reminding residents of the upcoming planned service interruption.
The village cannot switch transformers without a shutdown because of a wiring error made by a contractor working on a system upgrade, according to village officials. The issue came to light last August, when the village was left without power for 14 hours.
In October, Pallas said the outage resulted because “the transformer that feeds into the relay switch gear was wired backwards,” he said. “That told the circuit breaker that there was a problem with the transformer when there wasn’t, and when it got to a certain point, that transformer tripped offline and precipitated the whole event.”
Transformer one will have to be rewired — at significant cost. The trustees on Oct. 28 authorized village attorney Joe Prokop to commence a legal proceeding related to the engineering and design portions of the power plant upgrade. That lawsuit was filed about two weeks ago, Hubbard said in an interview this week.