PNM: Power outages in Albuquerque up 37 percent in 2017


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – KRQE News 13 viewers have wrote in asking if Albuquerque is experiencing more power outages than usual. As it turns out, they were right.

PNM says Albuquerque is up 37 percent from last year, and that it has a lot to do with weather.

In 2017, there have been 1,044 power outages across the Albuquerque area. This time last year, the city experienced 763.

“Weather can be a major cause,” spokesperson Meaghan Cavanaugh said.

Cavanaugh is referring to the wind, the heat wave and the lightning strikes in the last six months.

“Now we’re getting into July and August, which is typically our monsoon, which brings even more lightning. That can be a really big stresser on our system,” Cavanaugh said.

When there is an outage, PNM employees are monitoring it and scrambling to fix it from the Distribution Operation Center (DOC).

“This is where all the magic happens,” Cavanaugh said. “This is where we contact our crews and get them distributed to an outage for repairs.”

From the DOC, an outage lets operators know that a “switcher” in the field is down. Operators can then re-direct power from a nearby circuit, which is only a temporary fix.

“We can open and close switches within the area and that will help us re-direct power to get a portion of those customers back on quickly,” Cavanaugh said. “But we have to make sure that where we’re looking to re-direct the power can accommodate the amount of customers.”

The rest is up to the crews out in the field.

PNM says it’s only going to get worse. The last six months of the year typically sees a lot more outages than the first part because of monsoon.

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