Wiring Problem Forces CNMI Hospital Back On To Generator

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Utility trouble-shooting problem to get facility back on the grid

By Dennis B. Chan

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Aug. 26, 2015) – A "wiring anomaly" has forced the local hospital off the power grid, said acting Commonwealth Utilities Corp. executive director John Riegel.

This comes less than two weeks after CUC restored power to the hospital after Typhoon Soudelor crippled their distribution and generation capacity.

Riegel said the hospital is back on its generator.

"There is some sort of wiring anomaly that has to be solved," Riegel said, noting that this was on the "customer-side" of things.

Riegel said they have tested their system from out of their power plant to the hospital and found it "good."

They aim to troubleshoot the hospital’s wiring today, according to Riegel.

He said there might be problems with their neutral wire and phasing but CUC does not have much information.

He added the hospital switched back to generator on Monday.

Meantime, more-than-half of the concrete poles that arrived last Saturday have been installed on island.

Riegel said poles have been installed at Smiling Cove down to American Memorial Park and Garapan.

He said they have installed some at the Chalan Kiya Substation, and the road to the Saipan airport.

Riegel said they have installed upwards of 50 poles since Saturday or about half of the 90 poles that arrived.

Timeframe

On power restoration timeframe, Riegel said he is looking to meet with CUC Power Manager Gary Camacho to get some details for the public on how restoration will go.

Riegel described re-energizing efforts to take place closest to their power plants, expanding beyond that to the island’s main lines and into the laterals.

As for full power restoration to every single home, Riegel called this a "several-month" job.

He said some houses would need new lines from power poles to their weather heads and to meter sockets.

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