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Chadron power restored after thunderstorm

CONTACT: Jen Neville, 720-962-7411,

LAKEWOOD, Colorado – A local thunderstorm caused a failure at Western Area Power Administration’s Chadron Substation, near Chadron, Nebraska, on July 27 from 1​:46 to 9:32 p.m.

WAPA’s nearest crew is based out of Gering more than 100 miles away. WAPA coordinated with the local Nebraska Public Power District crew who offered to help with the repair. Coordinating with WAPA’s Maintenance staff and dispatchers, NPPD handled the replacement to get the power restored. 

“A big thanks to our partners at NPPD for helping us get the lights turned back on after several local thunderstorms,” said Kurtis Mayer, WAPA’s maintenance manager for the area. 

During the thunderstorm, lightning struck and shattered a set of insulators that protect the substation equipment. WAPA had spare insulators stored at the substation that NPPD used to replace the broken ones. After NPPD completed the repair, WAPA operators re-energized the substation equipment and the transmission line at 9:32 p.m. 

Today, WAPA and NPPD are continuing to assess substation damage and are partnering on next steps to improve reliability for the area.​

About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable power from 57​ federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at​.

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