Faulty electrical device blamed for Super Bowl blackout

Posted Feb. 08, 2013, at 5:52 p.m.

The power company that provides service to the New Orleans Superdome has traced Sunday’s Super Bowl blackout to a faulty electrical device.

Entergy New Orleans announced Friday that an electrical relay failed in the third quarter of the game between between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. The game was delayed more than 30 minutes until power and lights were fully restored to the stadium.

The energy provider said the device was installed to protect the Superdome equipment in the event of a cable failure between the switchgear and the stadium.

“While the relay functioned without issue during a number of high-profile events — including the New Orleans Bowl, the New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers game, and the Sugar Bowl — during Sunday’s game, the relay device triggered, signaling a switch to open when it should not have, causing the partial outage,” Entergy New Orleans said in a statement. “This device has since been removed from service and new replacement equipment is being evaluated.”

The announcement came in advance of a special meeting of the New Orleans City Council’s Utility Committee on Friday with the energy company to discuss the outage and the root cause, which it had been investigating since the lights partially went out Sunday night.

Initially, Entergy indicated its equipment was functional and the problem must have come from the Superdome but later said it was launching an investigation to determine the source of the problem.

 

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