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NV Energy finds source of Sandy Valley’s electrical issues

After weeks of intermittent power outages, NV Energy has uncovered the source of Sandy Valley’s electrical issues.

The town, located about 50 miles southwest of Las Vegas, has faced a series of power outages since June 4. There has been a clear pattern to the outages, said NV Energy senior vice president of operations Kevin Geraghty, with most taking place on days where temperatures reached more than 100 degrees and near 1:30 p.m. Some lasted hours on end.

NV Energy discovered Thursday morning that a damaged insulator on a pole north of Sandy Valley’s Quartz Road was allowing electricity to run free, leading to the outages. The issue worsened when temperatures rose mid-day and the metal supporting the insulators expanded.

“It’s very rare,” Geraghty said. “Typically, when something happens like this, it’s not intermittent and it’s highly damaging. … Normally these things are fairly easy to see, and we could not see this with high-resolution pictures we were taking with drones.”

A temporary generator has been running in Sandy Valley since Wednesday. Geraghty said he doesn’t expect the town to have any other major outages while NV Energy makes repairs. He was unsure how many people were affected by the outages, but said Sandy Valley has 79 meters, most of which are residential.

NV Energy will be replacing insulators and making other improvements along a 2-mile stretch of power line near Sandy Valley before making further improvements in the local electrical system the following two weeks.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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