Minister of Public Utilities, Marvin Gonzales, revealed in Parliament on Friday (29th April 2022), the factors that led to an island-wide blackout on 16th February 2022. The blackout lasted approximately twelve and a half hours.
A Cabinet-Appointed Expert Committee thoroughly investigated the incident. The Committee was given a period of one (1) month from its date of appointment, that is, by 22nd March 2022 to report its findings and Report to the Office of the Prime Minister and was allowed to co-opt any other expertise and resources that it required.
The Committee completed its investigations and submitted its Report to Prime Minister Keith Rowley on 5th April 2022.
Minister Gonzales said, based on the Committee’s Report, a 21.64 m tall fungal-affected Palmiste tree fell in the vicinity of Grants Trace Extension Road and the NGC private Road in Rousillac on 16th February 2022. “The said tree fell onto a single phase T&TEC 12 KV distribution line. At the time of the occurrence of this trigger incident, the country was under a High Wind Yellow Alert issued by the Meteorological Office.”
The Committee unequivocally stated that it did not find any evidence of sabotage as the trigger for the failure. The entire episode, from the triggering of the event by the fallen Palmiste tree on the 12 KV distribution line to the shutdown of the entire grid resulting in an island-wide blackout, spanned about 3.6 seconds.
Below is the full content of Minister Gonzales' presentation in Parliament:
Madam Speaker, I have been authorised by the Cabinet to make the following Statement with respect to the report of the Cabinet-Appointed Expert Committee appointed to investigate the causes of, and the National response, to the island-wide power outage that occurred in Trinidad on Wednesday 16th February, 2022.
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[Source: Trinidad Express]
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