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  Athens Utilities Board News Release
ATHENS UTILITIES BOARD
ANNOUNCES PLANNED POWER OUTAGE

ATHENS, Tenn. - The Athens Utilities Board (AUB) will initiate two, planned electric power outages beginning at midnight on Saturday, May 5, in association with several preventive maintenance activities at the North Athens Substation, located on Ingleside Avenue.

The two outages should be brief will be several hours apart. The first of the two outages will begin at or about midnight on Saturday, May 5. The second outage will come at the end of preventive maintenance activities that will be performed overnight and that should be finished before sunrise on Sunday morning, May 6.

“We have several hours worth of critical maintenance to take care of at the substation,” said Nick Fortson, AUB’s superintendent of power. “Because of this we initially had expected to announce a somewhat lengthy power outage to the community of two hours or more in order to perform the work.” However, through careful cooperative planning with TVA, AUB has worked to find ways to minimize the impact on customers, he said.

During the initial outage, AUB power-division crewmembers will hook up a mobile TVA transformer at the substation. “We then can restore power quickly and spend whatever time is necessary to perform the preventive maintenance work,” Fortson said.

Work to be performed during the overnight maintenance period will include replacing three metering 69,000-volt transformers associated with the substation's electrical relay and switching functions; replacing three 69,000-volt lightning arrestors, which protect transformers from lightning damage; and checking potential “hot spots” noted during infrared scans of connections and switches at the substation to ensure the proper operation of the equipment and to perform any maintenance found necessary.

Utilizing the mobile transformer, which AUB will lease from TVA, creates a win-win situation, Fortson said. “If we realize during the night that we have more maintenance to do than initially foreseen, we will be able to take care of it while power is provided to the customer via the mobile transformer. We can take the time to safely and methodically do whatever work is necessary, but not at the expense of our customers' power supply,” he said.

When all the work is complete, the second brief outage will take place as crews disconnect the mobile transformer and reestablish normal power, Fortson said. “It's always best when we can meet our work goals while doing the very best with regard to our customers,” he said. “The work we'll do overnight at the substation will be at minimal impact to them and is key to supplying the reliable, clean power that our customers deserve and expect.”

The outage will also affect Volunteer Electric Cooperative customers in the Mt. Harmony community and some customers along Mt. Verd Road and portions of Clearwater Road.

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