Cuba Faces Another Week of Nearly 1,000 MW Power Outages

Monday, May 20, 2024 by Isabella Sanchez

Cuba Faces Another Week of Nearly 1,000 MW Power Outages
Blackout in Cuba (reference image) - Image by © CiberCuba

The Unión Eléctrica de Cuba (UNE) continues to struggle with severe issues in power generation and distribution among its customers. This Monday, the state utility once again "brightened" the lives of Cubans with the grim news that the week would start just like the last: with widespread blackouts.

"An estimated 2,445 MW will be available during peak hours, with a maximum demand of 3,350 MW, resulting in a deficit of 905 MW. If current conditions persist, a 975 MW shortfall is expected during peak hours," the state-owned company indicated on its social media channels.

As has been the case since the beginning of the month, "yesterday's service was affected by a lack of generation capacity for 24 hours." According to the company led by Alfredo López Valdés, this past Sunday saw "a maximum outage of 1,094 MW at 20:50 hours, not coinciding with peak hours."

Ongoing Maintenance and Breakdowns

For Monday, daytime outages of up to 650 MW were also forecasted. The UNE reported breakdowns in unit 3 of the CTE Cienfuegos, unit 2 of the CTE Felton, and unit 5 of Rente, as well as maintenance work on units 1 and 3 of the CTE Santa Cruz and unit 1 of the CTE Felton.

On Friday, López Valdés announced "emergency actions" for several thermoelectric units that had suffered breakdowns. He attributed the severe blackouts to the state of the thermoelectric plants, high temperatures, and increased residential demand due to the purchase of many air conditioning units and electric motorcycles.

The energy crisis has left the population in a state of perpetual distress, with power cuts lasting over 14 hours in some localities. Ruler Miguel Díaz-Canel had to acknowledge that the recent power cuts have been "terrible."

"The blackouts have been terrible, lasting up to 20 hours, but this will be resolved. Plants are under maintenance, and this strategy aims to avoid issues during the summer," said Díaz-Canel, the same leader who in August 2022 unveiled his strategy to minimize blackouts before the year's end and promised stable power supply for 2023.

Now, in mid-May 2024, Díaz-Canel repeats his rhetoric as if Cubans have forgotten the blackouts of the past week. According to the Palace resident, the situation must be explained "to the people so they understand that this is an uncomfortable but temporary situation."

Cuba's Power Outage Crisis: Key Questions and Answers

In light of the ongoing power outage crisis in Cuba, here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help better understand the situation:

What is causing the frequent power outages in Cuba?

The frequent power outages are primarily due to the poor state of the thermoelectric plants, high temperatures, and increased domestic demand from the use of air conditioning units and electric motorcycles.

How long are the power outages expected to last?

Power outages have been lasting up to 20 hours in some areas. The government's current strategy involves maintenance of plants, aiming to resolve these issues before the summer months.

What measures is the Cuban government taking to address the power crisis?

The government has announced emergency actions for several thermoelectric units and is conducting maintenance on various plants to improve the power supply.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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