YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) — Residents of the Sugar Mill Pond neighborhood of Youngsville will be without electric power for a time overnight tonight, according to electric provider SLEMCO.
The outage is scheduled to start at 2 a.m. Wednesday and last for 2-3 hours, the utility said.
“Extended record-breaking heat and unprecedented electric load in your neighborhood recently caused fuses in a fuse cabinet to melt – resulting in two recent power outages,” SLEMCO said in a post on its Facebook page. “Fuse cabinets are used to sectionalize underground electric load serving your neighborhood which allow us to reduce the number of homes or businesses affected by individual outages. The two fuses that melted were our maximum-sized neighborhood fuses. Fuses this large have never melted before on our system.”
Communications Coordinator, Mary Laurent explains that fuses that are large have never melted before on their system. “We’ve been in business 87 years, and I’ve been here almost 40 years. We have never seen that before. We got bigger fuses to go in there. In an abundance of caution, we decided to replace it with an even more sophisticated piece of equipment that we can regulate what the capacity of the fuses are,” Laurent stated.
Not knowing how long the heatwave is going to last can be a factor to consider. “From what we’ve been seeing air conditioner compressors have been running twelve out of 24 hours and that’s unheard of,” Laurent added.
SLEMCO said it is replacing the affected fuse cabinet with a piece of equipment called a Vista, which can accommodate higher capacity fuses and more electric load.
Population growth on top of a heatwave can add to the demand for more power. Laurent says it’s not about capacity. It’s about the heat. “We have excess capacity everywhere. It’s not that we don’t have capacity there. It was the fuses. We have plenty of power. It was the fuse that had the issue, and we are going to handle that situation,” Laurent stated.
“For the safety of our employees, an outage will be required to complete the last phase of the installation,” SLEMCO said. “As much work as possible will be performed in advance and staged at the location by our Overhead, Underground and Substation personnel to minimize outage time.”