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Blackout leaves 10.5 million without power; affectations in at least 21 states


A failure in the National Interconnected System left 10.5 million people without electricity in at least 21 states of the country.

Although authorities plan to clarify today how and where the damage occurred, they explained that there was an “imbalance”, that is, an important difference between the load and the generation of energy, which led to wind and solar plants going out of operation. in addition to 16 conventional ones, those that work with fossil fuels. At least five large transmission lines stopped working: the two that run from Ciudad Victoria to Linares, Nuevo León; two more between Mazatlán and Tepic, and the one that goes from Durango to Fresnillo.

Both the National Energy Control Center (Cenace) and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) explained that by registering the imbalance, the protection systems were activated and disconnected millions of users, in order to prevent further damage and affectation.

The traffic lights in Aguascalientes and other states were affected by the lack of electricity / Photo: Karla Méndez

For more than an hour and a half, from 2:28 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., large urban areas in the center, west and northwest of the country were without electricity. Among the most affected entities are Mexico City, Edomex, Jalisco, Tabasco, Sinaloa, San Luis Potosí, Nayarit and Nuevo León. Users and people in the home office expressed their surprise on social networks.

In the capital of the country, some Metro and Trolleybus lines were suspended, although there were no effects on the local hospital network that serves covid-19. The IMSS assured that it did not suspend work in its units due to the blackout.

The cut lasted about an hour; authorities affirm that it was due to an imbalance in the interconnection

The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) reported that the national blackout affected more than 10.5 million users, this due to an “imbalance” in the National Interconnected System, that is, an important difference between the load and the generation of energy, since wind farms, solar farms and 16 conventional plants went out of operation, that is, they generate with fossil fuels.

According to users of the national electricity grid, the blackout affected at least 21 states: CDMX, Estado de México, Aguascalientes, Sinaloa, Yucatán, Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Coahuila, Hidalgo, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Oaxaca, Jalisco, Tabasco, Morelos Quintana Roo, Campeche, Guerrero, Chihuahua, Durango and Zacatecas.

In a conference, the director of the National Energy Control Center, Carlos Meléndez and the CFE general director, Manuel Bartlett, said that it will be until this Tuesday when the cause or the cause of the failure that also caused them to leave operating five transmission lines.

Small businesses were affected for about an hour due to lack of electricity / Photo: Flor Castillo

They explained that once this imbalance began to be registered, the protection systems were activated, disconnecting more than 10.5 million users in order to prevent further damage and a greater impact on the systems.

According to the managers, an episode of this magnitude had not been recorded since September 7, 2017, although the most affected area was the southeast, as they assure that it is not constant or that it can be easily repeated.

Meléndez said that the situation is being analyzed to determine where the problem originated, since the impact was 8,934 megawatts, of which 1,714 megawatts are from photovoltaic or solar technologies, as well as 877 megawatts from wind farms, while that the rest is from conventional power plants.


The director of Cenace explained that “the concept of imbalance has to do with the fact that the generation cannot be stored in large volumes, so the generation at the time the electrical energy is produced is consumed, when an imbalance occurs it is that we lost the source of production ”, so this volume is no longer equal to or greater than what is being consumed.

Power plants left; We lost them due to this effect, which was caused by instability and by losing the low frequency and that is when these system protection operations cut load, remove consumption to be able to have balance again ”.

Two trolleybus lines stopped providing services due to the lack of electricity / Photo: Rodolfo Dorantes / Archive

Among the transmission lines, which also went out of operation, are the two that run from Victoria Tamaulipas to Linares, two more between Mazatlán and Tepic, as well as one more between Durango and Fresnillo.

For this reason, both the Cenace and the CFE will remain vigilant and “patrol” the areas to prevent a new blackout from occurring again.

The cut began at 2:28 p.m. and around 4:12 p.m. the load was recovered to 100%.


In Sinaloa, the municipalities of Culiacán, Mazatlán and Ahome were without power for a few minutes. The blackouts affected the traffic light system of the three largest municipalities in the state, causing road congestion.

After the power failure registered in Aguascalientes and in other states, the municipal Public Security Secretariat reported that 36 cruise ships were affected.

Municipalities in the southern and central areas of Tamaulipas were affected by the electrical energy imbalance that originated in a line of this entity and the state of Nuevo León.

The Federal Regional Commission reported that the supply failure was sectioned and that it included the cities of Altamira, Madero and Tampico.

Others affected are the cities of Victoria and Xicoténcatl, located in the central area, and Matamoros in the northern region.

In Nayarit, through social networks, blackouts were reported by the CFE in the municipalities of the north, south and the capital.

Nuevo León was another of the states that was affected by the mega-blackout.

Some of the municipalities affected were Monterrey, Guadalupe, García, San Nicolás, Apodaca, Santa Catarina and Escobedo, among others.

The national blackout that occurred yesterday Monday in much of the country, also occurred in several cities of Guerrero, Acapulco, Chilpancingo and in the Mountain Region, there are reports of affectations.

In Chihuahua, a dozen municipalities suffered several intermittent blackouts, the longest lasting two hours in Ciudad Juárez, Civil Protection authorities reported.

It was several rural municipalities that suffered several blackouts.

With information from Jesús Bustamante, Karla Méndez, Flor Castillo, Alfredo Peña, Alma Gudiño, Emmanuel Rincón, Fabiola Xicoténcatl, Pedro Tonantzin, Andrés Guardiola, Rolando Aguilar and Carlos Coria


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