Massive power outage in Azerbaijan

On the night of 2 July, an accident occurred at the Mingachevir hydroelectric plant in Azerbaijan, plunging the entire country into darkness.

According to the presidential administration's press release, the massive blackout was brought on by the failure of a single current transformer at the Mingachevir power plant.

For the past few days Azerbaijan has been experiencing record heat. On the day of the blackout, temperatures in Baku reached 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit). A sharp rise in energy use overloaded the system in Mingachevir.

On the morning of 3 July, power was restored in Baku and in 80% of the regions, according to Tanriverdi Mustafayev, spokesman for the electric company, Azerishiq. The Mingachevir hydroelectric plant, however, is still only partially operational. Azerbaijan is importing energy from Russia and Georgia to provide electricity to some of the regions.

The blackout interrupted the operation of water treatment plants on the Kur River, and many residents of Baku have had their water cut off. Today, a representative of the water company, Azersu, said that "by this evening most customers will receive water."

The Mingachevir hydroelectric plant began operating in 1954. A reconstruction earlier this year increased the capacity of the plant from 284 MWth to 424 MWth.