BLACKOUTS POSSIBLE FOR A FEW DAYS: If you can read this it means the activation of a new backup power plant isn’t having a lights-out impact – but it may between now and Monday


Sort of along the lines of “it takes money to make money,” the city’s spending the next few days improving the reliability of backup power sources if the main coal-fired facility suffers an outages – but until then it may mean more “dark times” during these continuous and cold December polar nights.

Workers began the final process of activating the new backup plant on Thursday, which is scheduled to continue through Monday, the city announced on its website. Because of the testing involved, that might mean unexpected power disruptions, although the good news is there should be fewer of them afterward.

“Together with existing reserve capacity this will improve the power supply for the entire area in the event of an outage of production in the coal-fired power plant,” the announcement states. “Before a new reserve power plant can be used, it must be tested and operated. These activities may mean an increased risk of disruptions in the power supply. The reason for this risk is that we are making changes to the control system on the energy system, as well as test runs of the reserve power plant.”

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The city suffered an outage just before noon on Wednesday lasting about an hour due to a failure at the coal power plant, the cause of which was still being determined at the end of the day. Svalbardposten reported it was the first outage at the plant in 162 days.