Power Outage Information

Thank You

July 23, 2019

Last Friday morning, a fire occurred at our downtown Madison substation, originating in equipment belonging to our transmission partner, American Transmission Co. (ATC), and damaging equipment belonging to MGE. To allow firefighters access to the substation, we needed to de-energize it, resulting in power outages in parts of downtown and the Isthmus. We recognize this was a source of concern and inconvenience for many. A full investigation with ATC is ongoing to understand what happened and how to ensure continued reliability. On behalf of all of us at MGE, we want to say thank you for your patience throughout the event.

To the firefighters who put out the fire, the police officers who directed traffic and secured the area, and to all of our partners across local, county and state government who helped to ensure our community’s safety throughout the event.

To those we serve for their patience as crews worked to assess the damage, make adjustments to our system and do repairs, restoring service to all customers the same day.

To our broader community. It’s easy to find stories of goodwill and generosity by local businesses, individuals, neighbors and others who helped our community manage the heat and restoration process.

To our employees, especially our field personnel, who worked tirelessly to fulfill our critical responsibility to our customers.

Madison, your community energy company thanks you for your resilience and your care for one another. MGE
is proud and privileged to serve you.


Update on Ongoing Investigation into Substation Fires

July 22, 2019, 3:30 p.m.

On Friday, July 19, a fire occurred at a downtown Madison substation (Blount substation). This substation contains electric transmission equipment belonging to American Transmission Co. (ATC) and electric distribution equipment belonging to Madison Gas and Electric Company (MGE).
 
The investigation into what caused the fire at the Blount substation is ongoing; however, evidence shows the fire originated in a piece of transmission equipment owned and operated by ATC. Some MGE distribution equipment also was damaged in the fire. A second fire occurred in the ATC portion of the East Campus substation.
 
ATC is leading cleanup of the facilities and is leading the investigation into what caused the Blount and East Campus substation fires and resulting damage. MGE will continue to work with ATC to understand what occurred and to ensure a reliable, resilient electric grid.
 
Friday's Service Restoration
To allow firefighters to safely access the Blount substation, MGE de-energized it, which shut off power to customers in the downtown and Isthmus areas. MGE crews worked to restore power over the course of the day. By early evening, all power had been restored to customers impacted by the outage.
 
We’d like to thank those we serve for their patience as crews worked to restore electric service to all affected customers the same day. While electric reliability has been restored to our customers, both utilities are continuing to assess and to repair damaged equipment.
 
We’d like to recognize the Madison fire and police departments and all of our partners across local, county and state government who worked to ensure our community’s safety throughout the event. We’d also like to thank the many field workers, system operators and utility employees who worked tirelessly to fulfill our critical responsibility of delivering electricity to our customers.

 

Outage Updates from MGE

July 19, 2019, 6 p.m.

As of 6 p.m., MGE has restored service to most of our customers. We appreciate the patience of those customers who remain out of service. Crews are working to restore power to those customers. Please continue to visit our outage map for updates.

MGE has crews on standby overnight. This was previously scheduled due to the forecasted extreme high temperatures. 

East Main Street between S. Blount and S. Livingston streets remains closed. Please avoid the area.

MGE appreciates the patience of all of our customers who were impacted by today's outage and thanks the first responders and others throughout our community for their assistance.
 

4:30 p.m.

MGE crews continue to address mechanical issues. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience throughout this process. We will continue to update our social media as the restoration process unfolds. Please stay tuned to MGE social media and our outage map for updates.


2:30 p.m.

MGE crews took steps earlier today to restore power to customers. In the process of restoring service and transitioning to a normal system configuration, we have encountered a few isolated mechanical issues, which is to be expected when addressing an outage that impacted thousands of customers, and we are resolving those isolated issues as they arise. The restoration process resulted in a fluctuation in the number of customers out of power at a given time.

We're still on a path toward full restoration, and crews continue to work as quickly as is safely possible. We also continue to conduct a full damage assessment of equipment on our system.
 

11 a.m.

A fire occurred this morning at a downtown Madison substation containing both MGE and American Transmission Co. (ATC) equipment. MGE’s electric distribution system was intact at the time of the fire. In order to put out the fire safely, MGE needed to shut down power to a large number of customers. Damage assessment is underway and crews are working as quickly as possible to safely restore service. 

There have been no reports of injuries. 

A second fire occurred at the East Campus substation, impacting equipment belonging to American Transmission Company. The fire does not appear to have affected MGE equipment.

We're working with our partners at ATC and the Madison Fire Department to investigate the cause. Please continue to avoid the area surrounding East Washington Avenue, East Main Street, South Livingston Street and South Blount Street. MGE thanks first responders for their assistance in securing the area.

MGE regrets any inconvenience and urges customers to seek indoor areas with air conditioning. MGE will continue to update our social media and media.
 

9 a.m.

Due to a fire this morning, some electric customers are out of service. The fire occurred at a substation containing equipment of MGE's and American Transmission Company. The fire is out, and damage assessment will get underway. At this time, we believe the fire was due to a mechanical issue.
 
Outages extend from the west side of downtown's Capitol Square to areas around the Yahara River. We have no estimated time of restoration but will issue updates as we do our damage assessment and get more information. Crews are working as quickly as possible to safely restore service. We have no reason to believe the cause of the fire is due to excessive usage from today's high temperatures.
 
We're working with our partners at American Transmission Company and the Madison Fire Department to investigate the cause. Please avoid the area surrounding East Washington Avenue, East Main Street, South Livingston Street and South Blount Street.
 
MGE regrets any inconvenience and urges customers to seek indoor areas with air conditioning. MGE will continue to update our social media and media.