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Power Restored to Thousands of Northwestern Energy Customers After Miller Creek Substation Brownout

MIller Creek Substation
photo by Peter Christian

On Sunday afternoon, the heavy load of electricity usage in the Miller Creek and Southside areas of Missoula led to what is called a ‘brownout’ at the Miller Creek Road substation.

One person with knowledge of the situation said that with so many more homes being built and customers being added in the area, the demand for electrical power during this spate of extremely hot weather led to a transformer automatically shutting down to keep from damaging the equipment at the substation.

The source said that crews rushed to the area and switched the loads from the Miller Creek substation to other stations in order to spread out the overload and restore power. Several thousand customers were affected by the situation, but power was fully restored by about 8:30 p.m.

With temperatures rising into possible triple digits in the next few days, the source said the situation may or may not happen again, depending upon the load on the electrical grid.

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