Venezuela moves 765 kV transformer to prevent blackouts

Venezuela: Venezuela’s state-owned utility Corpoelec is patching up the country’s dilapidated power grid by cannibalizing electricity turbines, transformers and other equipment following a string of catastrophic blackouts in March and early April.

Corpoelec this month transferred a large-capacity transformer from the San Geronimo substation in Guarico state to the Guri substation at the 10 GW Simon Bolivar hydroelectric complex in Bolivar state.

The 765 kV transformer now at Guri will enable Corpoelec to boost hydropower transmission from Bolivar state to the rest of the country by up to 400 MW, the electricity ministry said.

“It was decided to move the transformer that was designated a back-up unit at the San Geronimo substation because it was needed more urgently at Guri,” a ministry official said.

The downside of the ministry’s decision is that the critical San Geronimo substation now has no back-up capacity. “Transformer breakdowns at the San Geronimo and La Horqueta 765 kV substations have been the chief cause of numerous multi-state blackouts since 2016,” a senior Fetraelec official said. “Moving San Geronimo’s back-up transformer to Guri has made the grid more vulnerable.”

Source: Argus Media