The entire island of La Gomera, which has a population of roughly 21,800 people, has lost electricity after a fire engulfed a power station.
The blaze broke out in part of the El Palmar thermal power station’s installations in San Sebastián, the island’s capital.
Full power is not expected to be restored until later today (Monday, July 31) with only 628 of the 15,313 consumers having had their power restored by 7.00 PM on Sunday, 15 hours after the blackout began.
The Canary Islands have independent electricity systems, with the exception of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, which are linked.
As a result, if one of the islands’ power generating fails, it cannot rely on a power supply from another island.
In order to remedy this issue, Red Eléctrica de Espaa launched a project in March to connect the grids of La Gomera and Tenerife via an undersea cable.
The cable is expected to be operational by 2025, with the goal of improving the region’s overall electrical connectivity.
Due to backup power generators, critical services such as La Gomera Hospital, San Sebastian Airport, and the island’s port are running normally.
The widespread blackout, dubbed “zero energy,” happened around 03:00 this morning. According to sources, the electrical company, Endesa, is working hard to rectify the situation.
The Canary Islands’ President, Fernando Clavijo, has advised he is keeping a careful eye on efforts to restore power.
He has stated that, despite the electrical outage, critical public services on the island are secure and operating smoothly.
Endesa has announced that the power supply will be gradually restored late in the afternoon, once the proper operation of the generation systems has been confirmed.
He said: “We are facing an extraordinary situation that affects the entire island territory, with the consequences it has for the daily lives of the people, the functioning of public services and, of course, the island economy,”
In a statement, Endesa, the electricity supplier on the island of La Gomera, said: “Work continues to achieve the partial restoration of the El Palmar power plant.
A third of the affected users have already recovered their electricity supply.
Up to 14 generators mobilised to La Gomera have been connected. A 6 MW mini power plant is expected to arrive from La Palma late this afternoon and could be operational within 24 hours of arrival.
“More than 100 technicians, in-house and from partner companies, are working to restore the electricity supply as soon as possible. Customers who already have electricity are asked to use it sparingly in order to facilitate full replacement.”