February 8, 2017

MDU working to prevent ‘blink’ outages

By Annette Tait
Brief but frequent power outages for city residents have been a source of frustration for a number of years. MDU Dakota Heartland Region Electric Superintendent Doug Wiseman appeared before the city council at the request of Mayor Harold Wilkins, who contacted Wiseman seeking answers and a solution.
Wiseman provided an overview of the topic, explaining that a “blink” outage is one that is very brief, normally one to two minutes in duration. He also provided data on the number and causes of such outages, MDU’s efforts to date to improve performance, and an overview of the company’s future plans to reduce the number of blink outages.
Wiseman explained that Center receives electricity from a line originating at Heskett Station north of Mandan that terminates at Hazen. He provided blink outage data for the line for 2012-2016, but focused on the 2015-2016 timeframe as earlier data collection was not as detailed.
“I agree with you that performance is not good on that line, and we are going to drastically improve reliability on that line,” Wiseman said.


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