Central America experiences blackouts due to system failure in Honduras

A power failure along the transmission line in southern Honduras caused a momentary blackout throughout Central American countries connected to the Central American Electric System (SER). The failure led to up to several hours of power outage in Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The Regional Operating Entity (EOR) which oversees the region’s electrical network reported that the incident, which it considers “serious”, originated between the Honduran substations of Pavana and Saint Lucia. The System Operator of Honduras reported that the reason for the failure was heavy rains and damage caused by a tree that fell directly on to the transmission line. The regional electrical system is designed in such a way that interstate connections can be severed in order to protect the national grids of each country. As such, once the SER detected the event, it isolated the national electrical systems to avoid region-wide path failures which “the transmission system is not robust enough to handle” according to Executive Director of the EOR René González Castellón. The incident raised questions regarding the current state of the Honduran electrical grid, which Castellón said requires some US$3m in renovations.

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