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Tonga Power Limited Addresses Recent Blackout Incident in Tongatapu Island

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Press Release_CoMaps issue 09.02.24

Nuku'alofa, Tonga - February 9, 2024 - Tonga Power Limited, in adherence to its commitment to transparency and accountability, provides an update on the recent widespread blackout incident affecting Tongatapu Island from Monday, February 5th to Friday, February 9th. The blackout stemmed from a technical issue within the integration of CoMaps controllers with our diesel gensets, as part of our transition to managing renewable and diesel energy sources to meet the electricity demand for Tongatapu's customers.

 

Tonga Power Limited acknowledges the community's concern regarding the complete power outage caused by the malfunction of our CoMaps controllers. These controllers, designed to automate our power generation management from different energy sources (Wind, Solar, Diesel) aswell as adapting to changing climate events, encountered unforeseen challenges in responding effectively to varying weather conditions such as rainy days, sunny days, and cloudy days. Our investigation revealed that the adjustment settings of the CoMap controllers are inadequate, leading to the system's inability to respond appropriately to environmental factors.

 

In response to the incident, Tonga Power Limited has taken immediate and proactive measures to address the situation:

  1. Our CoMaps controller contractor from New Zealand, specializing in CoMaps controller installation, has arrived in Tongatapu today, February 9th, 2024, and is with our power generation team  working collaboratively towards resolving the technical issue and conducting a thorough system review to mitigate the risk of further power outages.
  2. Contractor working alongside our power station engineer to provide further training to ensure effective management of the system.
  3. Planning for additional technical assistance from the government, scheduled to arrive next week, to enhance the operation and maintenance of our CoMap Diesel operations.
  4. Tonga Power Limited distribution teams are working closely with power generation teams to uphold network safety standards before restoring power supply to our customers.

 

Tonga Power Limited deeply regrets the inconvenience caused by the recent blackout and assures the community of its full commitment to resolving the issue promptly. While we cannot guarantee the absence of further power outages during this resolution period, we kindly request the patience and support of our valued customers in Tongatapu as we work diligently to restore reliable power supply.

 

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