Blackout woes… as GPL blames tripped transformer for latest blackoutsThe Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) shut down on Tuesday without notice, causing those connected to the grid to be without power again, an increasing phenomenon in recent weeks.While the power company has blamed a tripped transformer for Tuesday’s widespread blackout, sources close to the utility company’s operations are in fact blaming the shoddy works of the contractors that ‘upgraded’ the grid recently at a cost of US$42 million, coupled with inferior infrastructure and the displaced Wärtsilä managers as among the key reasons for the now incessant shutdowns.The power company in a subsequent public missive said “At approximately 08:30h this morning (Tuesday), a transformer trip at our Kingston power station caused the DBIS to experience a shutdown. Restoration efforts commenced immediately and most areas were repowered at approximately 09:45h with the exception of Sophia, La Penitence, East Ruimveldt, West Ruimveldt and a section of the East Bank, between Herstelling and Craig. These areas were re-powered at 13:00h.”Guyana Times has since learnt that the transformers referred to by GPL are not those seen installed on utility poles but instead are used to step up the power generated at the Kingston plant.It was explained that the generating sets in fact produce 13.8V which is then fed through the transformer and stepped up to 69KV which is then transferred to the Sophia distribution centre.There are several recent incidents according to Guyana Times source, where the power company experienced outages but are unsure as to the cause.It was explained too that in many instances, Rural Cut Offs (ROC) which have been installed across the grid failed to effectively work which causes complications for the entire grid.This publication was told that the ROCs are meant to act as fuses that would trip in case of surges or other malfunctions, hence isolating that section of the grid.This does not obtain however, since the installed ROCs are in many instances not functioning, resulting in the surges not being contained. As such, it affects the entire grid. They have been described as defective which prevents them from functioning effectively.Electricity woes being experienced on the West Bank of Demerara are also being blamed on not only the inferior infrastructure in place but the actual design and location of the Vreed-en-Hoop plant.It was explained that a recent explosion at the Craig, East Bank Demerara feeder which supplies electricity to sections of the West Bank of Demerara laid this bare since electricity could not have been diverted; the feeders in place could not accommodate the load.Speaking with sources familiar with the operations of the utility company, the lengthy scheduled delays have also been pinpointed as a result of the removal of the Wärtsilä managers.It was explained that there are currently two generating sets down at the recently rehabilitated Kingston Plant and while it is common for such systems to undergo scheduled repairs, under the Wärtsilä Management the procurement of and installation of the critical components were completed within two weeks.The two generating sets current down for repairs are not expected to be back up and running within weeks but rather months.The lengthy scheduled delays have led in part to the load shedding phenomenon since the utility company at times does not have the generation capacity to meet the demands, especially during peak hours.Ever since the change in management, the scheduled outages have now begun to take months at a time since the procurement of the components are often times delayed.Tuesday’s unscheduled outage comes less than two weeks after the power company’s Public Relations Officer had promised an end to the chronic black outs currently besieging those connected to the national grid.Social media has in recent weeks and months been abuzz with sometimes profanity laced statements by Guyanese voicing their displeasure at the incessant spate of blackouts being experienced.The power company’s PRO, Shevion Sears had told members of the local media corps, when the Skeldon Wärtsilä units and the Co-Generator plant are fully functional, the available generating capacity is 137 megawatts. She noted that the total generating capacity in the DBIS is currently 106 megawatts.“Which means we are operating with a generation shortfall of approximately three megawatts during the day peak, and six megawatts during the night peak,” she explained.Giving a breakdown of the planned and unplanned maintenance work at the time, Sears said three engines at Garden of Eden were down for maintenance overhaul work.One of these engines constitutes 5.5 megawatts, while the other two are 6.9 megawatts.
The decision was made at a Premier League shareholders meeting in London on Friday, when all 20 top-flight clubs voted.“Premier League clubs have today agreed to continue advanced testing of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) throughout season 2018/19,” said a league statement.“The decision came after comprehensive discussions regarding the progress made in VAR trials in English football, and key learnings from the many competitions using it elsewhere.“The clubs recognised and are grateful for the substantial developments made by PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) managing director Mike Riley and his team.”One of the major concerns regarding VAR as currently deployed is the length of time it takes to reach a decision. It is also not always obvious to spectators inside the stadium when the match referee is calling upon the system or indeed what exactly is the incident he wants reviewed.It was a point highlighted in the EPL’s statement, which said: “The clubs agreed that advanced testing will continue to the end of season 2018/19 to make further improvements to the system, especially around communication inside the stadium and for those following at home and around the world.“The Premier League will also be asking for VAR to be used more extensively in the FA Cup and Carabao (League) Cup in season 2018/19.”Another problem flagged up by trials worldwide is the vexed question of when VAR should be called upon to overturn a “clear and obvious” error.– ‘Not perfect’ –Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who experienced VAR during an FA Cup game with West Bromwich Albion, agreed improvement was needed before VAR could be used in the Premier League.“The only experience I have with VAR is the West Brom game and I really think that was very interesting,” said Klopp. “We are all agreed it took a little long for all decisions… It’s not perfect in the moment.”There was controversy when England were denied a World Cup warm-up win when VAR helped Italy salvage a 1-1 draw at Wembley last month, after German referee Deniz Aytekin overturned his initial decision not to award a spot-kick when substitute Federico Chiesa tumbled under the challenge of James Tarkowski five minutes from time.Lorenzo Insigne scored from the spot and afterwards England manager Gareth Southgate said: “I’m glad it’s not the World Cup just yet. I think the ruling is ‘clear and obvious’ and it’s not. It’s one you can debate all day… I prefer the referee’s decision is final.”But FIFA president Gianni Infantino, explaining why VAR will be used at the World Cup, said in March: “What we want is to help and to give the referee the possibility to have extra help when he has to make important decisions, and in a World Cup we make very important decisions.“It cannot be possible that in 2018 everybody, in the stadium or at home, knows in a few seconds if the referee has made a mistake but not the referee himself — not because he doesn’t want to know about it but because we forbid him to know.”Germany’s Bundesliga will, however, continue to use VAR next season despite World Cup winner Sami Khedira, who plays for Serie A club Juventus, branding it a “disaster” during this season’s trials.UEFA, European football’s governing body, has still to be convinced, however.“Nobody knows exactly how VAR will work. There is already a lot of confusion,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who insists that VAR will not be used in next season’s Champions League.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000German referee Deniz Aytekin studies the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) screen to see if Italy deserve a penalty against England © AFP / Ian KINGTONLondon, United Kingdom, Apr 13 – The Video Assistant Referee system (VAR) will not be used during the 2018/19 English Premier League season, officials announced Friday.Trials of VAR in English cup competitions this season have proved controversial and even though the technology is set to be used during this year’s World Cup in Russia, Premier League chiefs believe further tests are needed.