Equipment Failure Causes Two Brief Outages in St. Helens

April 12, 2018 – About 1,000 Columbia River PUD customers in St. Helens experienced two brief outages on April 11.

The first outage occurred at 6 a.m. and lasted for two minutes. A second outage at 11:30 a.m. lasted for 20 minutes.

The PUD identified the cause of both outages as a faulty load tap changer in its St. Helens Substation. The PUD has re-routed power from neighboring Rosehill and Tarbell Substations to serve customers while crews repair the faulty equipment.

The PUD’s electric system is designed to be able to deliver power down multiple paths. If there is an issue at one substation, the PUD can serve customers from neighboring substations while repairs are completed.

“We design our system like this so our customers will not be out of power for an extended period of time if we have to repair or replace equipment,” said CRPUD Engineering Supervisor Branden Staehely.