IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - 19

ŠISTOCKPHOTO.COM/MICHITERMO, ANIMALS AND TREES-IMAGES LICENSED BY INGRAM PUBLISHING

squirrels. In some areas they are
responsible for more outages than
the weather. While squirrels
rarely cause problems that extend
into the bulk transmission system
(100 kV and above), their somewhat larger rodent cousins, raccoons, have been known to be a
bit more troublesome.

Raccoon Spring Dance

Shortly after midnight on 29
March 2006, there was a fault on
a 13.8/115-kV generator step-up
transformer that connected a synchronous condenser to the 115-kV
switchyard of a large hydroelectric generating and transmission facility in the northeastern
United States. The fault was initially a single-phase-to-ground fault on the 13.8-kV side. It evolved into a threephase fault before it was finally cleared. One of the two high-side breakers required to clear the fault did not
operate in timely fashion. The delayed clearing caused the breaker failure back-up protection to operate;
one of the five breakers in the back-up clearing also was slow clearing. Ultimately, the fault was cleared
in 5.2 s. During the extended clearing time, several
other back-up protections operated. These resulted in
tripping of a 230-kV transmission line to a neighboring
utility, and four of the generators in the hydro-electric
facility were tripped. The remaining units reduced to speed/no
load and remained synchronized. Several other
small hydro-electric generators in the general area also tripped,
resulting in a total of 1,200-MW generation lost during the event; the only
load loss was due to the sustained low voltage.
The cause of the fault was determined to be several raccoons on top of
the transformer. The cause of the delayed clearing was due to a combination

A Look at the Unusual,
Strange, and Downright
Bizarre Causes

november/december 2016

ieee power & energy magazine

19


http://www.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/MICHITERMO

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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