by Victor Lopez
PRESIDIO--Power problems in Presidio. Residents in Presidio have been dealing with the unexpected, brief blackouts for a couple of weeks.
It's been a source of aggravation, but as it turns out, there's a reason for it all.
NewsWest 9 first heard from Presidio residents last week about what they were calling blackouts in the city. Officials with Electric Transmission Texas say these are actually planned outages they're conducting to test the functionality of the new Sodium Sulphur Battery.
The NaS Battery, as it's also known, was dedicated and built earlier this year. It's main purpose is to provide back-up power for Presidio and the surrounding area, in the event of a major power outage.
Officials with Electric Transmission Texas say they are in the final stages of testing before the NaS Battery can be fully automated. That means it will turn itself on when an unplanned power outage happens and will provide uninterrupted power to customers. The testing has been going on for the last couple of weeks.
While they apologize for any inconvenience, Electric Transmission Texas officials say testing has to take place during the day, when electricity use is at it's highest, in order to mimic real world-type situations.
"The demands on the battery need to be very similar to what they would be during a normal day. What we're trying to do here is put the battery through the most strenuous tests possible to make sure it's going to work and be fully functional," Electric Transmission Texas spokesman, Larry Jones, said.
Electric Transmission Texas has gone as far as placing ads in the Presidio newspaper and radio station, even leaving voice mails for customers to let them know about the testing. They also encourage everyone to use surge protectors to guard their electronic equipment.
The next round of testing is scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon, sometime around 4:00p.m. and run periodically through the end of the week.
Electric Transmission Texas hopes to have the testing complete and the NaS Battery fully operational in about two weeks.