The power outages and temporary blackouts on the island over the past weekend were caused by a submarine cable failure, according to Eversource, with the utility planning to bring 15 back-up generators to the island. during repairs.
In a letter to public safety officials on the island and provided to the Gazette, Eversource’s director of community relations and economic development Ronit Goldstein explained the power outages, which were mostly concentrated in Edgartown but felt also in other towns on the island.
“One of the submarine cables serving Martha’s Vineyard broke down on Friday July 16 at 5:14 pm, and we will be making the necessary repairs over the next few weeks,” Ms. Goldstein wrote. “Through the combination of a back-up generator already installed on Martha’s Vineyard and our remote system operators using distribution automation technology like smart switches to redirect power to other circuits, the 2 or so 250 customers who briefly lost power were restored in less than five minutes. “
Eversource, New England’s largest utility, provides electricity to the island through four submarine cables that connect a switching station on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.
The company operates a substation on the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven road in Vineyard Haven.
According to Monday’s letter, the utility plans to bring temporary back-up generators to the island while it carries out repairs to the submarine cable. The letter did not explain the cause of the failure.
“To ensure the reliability of residents, businesses and visitors while we make the necessary repairs to the submarine cable, we are taking the added precaution of bringing 15 additional back-up generators to Martha’s Vineyard,” Ms. Goldstein wrote. “These additional generators will be able to provide 28 MW of back-up generation to the island if needed, and will be strategically placed at the Tisbury landfill, near our Vineyard Haven substation and near the Oak Bluffs DPW facility.”
Edgartown city administrator James Hagerty read the letter at an Edgartown board meeting on Monday afternoon. He added that an issue involving a loss of AT&T mobile phone service over the weekend was still under investigation.
“We are still in the process of contacting AT&T to find out what the situation was, as we lost cell phone service along with electricity service, which could be a major problem in an emergency,” he said. Mr Hagerty said.