《TAIPEI TIMES》 Tsai apologizes for power issues
A member of the Keelung City Fire Department helps a man from an elevator yesterday following a power outage. Photo courtesy of the Keelung City Fire Department
By Yang Chun-hui, Jake Chung and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writers
President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） yesterday apologized for rolling blackouts that affected Taiwan after an incident at a substation affected four generators at the Singda Power Plant （興達電廠） in Kaohsiung’s Yongan District （永安）.
The government had the incident well in hand and was expediting repairs, Tsai wrote on Facebook yesterday afternoon soon after the incident was reported.
Operating reserves for yesterday stood at 10.01 percent and the Singda plant was fully functional, Tsai said later in a speech at the Presidential Office in Taipei after meeting with high-level officials to discuss the blackouts and issues related to the COVID-19 situation.
The electricity supply issue is not a shortage of power, but rather related to the distribution network, Tsai said.
Yesterday’s events highlight the importance of power distribution and risk management for the nation’s power grid, she said.
The Ministry of Science and Technology said in a news release that the rolling outages affected 55 commercial energy users that utilize 22.8 kilovolt connections, while users of 161 kilovolt connections were not affected.
Affected enterprises included 27 users at the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park （新竹生醫園區） and the Yilan Science Park （宜蘭科學園區）, 21 users at the Huwei and Taichung branches of the Central Taiwan Science Park （中部科學園區）, and seven at the Tainan branch of the Southern Taiwan Science Park （南部科學園區）, it said.
State-run Taiwan Power Co （台電, Taipower） notified the administrators at the parks before shutting off power to minimize the effect on users via channels of communication that had been put in place for such events, the ministry said.
The overall operations at science parks nationwide were not affected by the outages, it said.
The Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） called on the Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） administration to review its energy policies, saying that they have led to an unstable supply of electricity.
The electricity generated by the Singda plant is only 3.88 percent of the nation’s total power, but its problems caused a nationwide shortage, showing that the government’s energy supply is problematic, KMT spokeswoman Angel Hung （洪于茜） said.
A malfunction in the power grid — not a shortage of energy generation — was the cause of the outages, DPP deputy secretary-general Lin Fei-fan （林飛帆） wrote on Facebook, citing a statement from Taipower.
“Some proponents of nuclear power are using this incident to spread fear,” Lin said.
“This is immoral,” he said, urging people not to share erroneous posts online to curb disinformation.
Additional reporting by CNA