Cities in RJ, MG and SP record power outages; ONS denies

The fear of a blackout, also known as a “blackout” scares all Brazilians. In the last (18), a “complete shutdown of the Rocha Leão Substation”, in Rio de Janeiro, left at least eight cities in the state, in addition to locations in Minas Gerais and São Paulo, without electricity.

The unit is located in Rio das Ostras, in Região dos Lagos in Rio de Janeiro and belongs to Furnas, which admitted the failure in a note published this Sunday (19).

The National Electric System Operator (ONS) explained it will assess the causes of the occurrence with the agents involved. “It is noteworthy that the episode is not related to the country’s water crisis. We reiterate that, as soon as the problem is identified, we acted promptly to start the system recomposition and so that the complete energy supply was restored as quickly as possible”, he says another excerpt from the note.

Comparatively, “bus differential protection” works for a power substation the same way a circuit breaker works for a house. That is, it takes action to protect the substation and equipment from short circuits or related damage when there is a sudden power outage in that distributor. At 22:32, the supply was normalized.

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The “blackouts” cause several inconveniences to the population, especially the most vulnerable. In 2012 and 2013, some regions of the country suffered several large-scale blackouts, sparking the alert about problems in the Brazilian electrical system.

In November 2020, the state of Amapá was affected and more than 778,000 people, from 13 of the 16 municipalities in the state were completely without water and electricity.

TCU alert

On Saturday (18), the Chamber of Exceptional Rules for Hydroenergy Management (Creg), of the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU), released a report that points out the risk of blackouts for the coming months.

“Despite the actions taken, there was a higher-than-expected deterioration in the level of the reservoirs [das hidrelétricas]. Although some of these measures only came into effect as of 9/1/2021, there is an indication that the measures are not sufficient to eliminate the risk of consumption rationing, nor the risk of blackout”, states an excerpt from the report.

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Responsible for 70% of the water used to generate energy, the hydroelectric reservoirs in the Southeast and Center-West regions are approaching the minimum operating limit.

The largest dam in the system, Furnas, the same one that failed this Saturday (18), is at 16% of capacity. Another five are even lower.

Edition: Vivian Virissimo

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