Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Power outages affect 21 states in Mexico

As extremely hot weather affects much of the country, many Mexicans were left without electricity on Tuesday afternoon and night.

Power outages were reported in 21 states, while the National Energy Control Center (Cenace) declared a state of emergency in Mexico’s electricity system on two occasions.

Cenace said in a statement on Tuesday night that Mexico’s electricity generation capacity was affected from 4:05 p.m. Mexico City time when a power plant in Tamaulipas “went out of service.”

Several other power plants in various parts of the country subsequently went offline and solar and wind power generation dropped, Cenace said.

Mexico’s energy control center didn’t say that the mass power outage was related to increased electricity demand generated by the current heat wave.

In fact, it didn’t specify a reason for the interruptions at the power plants but did say that solar generation decreased due to cloudy conditions in the Bajío region.

However, energy expert Arturo Carranza noted that increased electricity demand due to high temperatures in some parts of Mexico “causes stress” to the national system.

“To achieve conditions of reliability and safety in operations, Cenace declares these states of emergencies, which are accompanied by other actions [including programmed outages] to reduce the stress,” he said.

An “operational state of emergency in the interconnected national system” was declared at 5:04 p.m. Mexico City and lasted 48 minutes. The system needs electricity reserves of at least 6% to operate normally, but they had dropped below 3% when the emergency was declared.

A second state of emergency was declared at 7:10 p.m due to an increase in “night demand” for electricity as well as generation problems at several power plants.

Cenace said that rolling blackouts were required to “maintain safety and reliability” in the electricity system after each of the emergency declarations.

“At 20:10 the reconnection of affected electricity supply began,” Cenace said, adding that it was expected to conclude at 11 p.m.

Blackouts were reported in Mexico City, México state, Morelos, Campeche, Coahuila, Colima, Oaxaca, Puebla, Hidalgo, Chiapas, Jalisco, Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Veracruz, Tamaulipas and Tabasco.

Neither Cenace nor the Federal Electricity Commission specified the number of people who lost power on Tuesday.

Among the municipalities affected by power outages were San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Toluca in México state, Reynosa in Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí, the capital of the state of the same name.

Much of Mexico will continue to swelter on Wednesday. The National Meteorological Service is forecasting temperatures above 45 C in 11 states and temperatures of 40-45 C in an additional 11.

With reports from Reforma, El Financiero, N+ and El Economista 

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