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SHIELD WIRE REPLACMENT ERROR CAUSES TIELINE OUTAGE

11/08/2004 ~ A contractor hired by Florida Keys Electric Cooperative (FKEC) to inspect and replace the overhead shield wire on the main transmission poles along U.S. Highway 1, from Tavernier to Marathon, dropped the line while it was being replaced. The wire then twisted around the tieline resulting in a loss of power to all Keys Energy Services (KEYS) customers Monday afternoon. The transmission outage lasted 125 minutes.

KEYS customers lost power at 11:32 a.m. The tieline was reenergized at 1:37 p.m. Power to all KEYS customers was restored by 1:43 p.m.

When it was evident that the outage would last longer than anticipated due to a faulty breaker within the FKEC territory, KEYS began back-up generation at the Stock Island Generating Facility. At 12:17 p.m. several feeders throughout KEYS territory began to be picked-up, with approximately 55 percent of KEYS system being energized by generation until the tieline was back online.

The contractor hired by FKEC specializes in both aerial and land-based repair of overhead power lines. The crews were working from a bucket truck when the shield wire was dropped. The shield wire, or static wire, provides lightning protection for the main transmission lines. The segment being replaced has been in service for 25 years.

KEYS regret any inconveniences experienced as a result of this outage.

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