Austin Energy substation causes outages for 7 AISD schools, 18K customers

Power has been restored to seven Austin Independent School District campuses and the AISD Central Office, after a South Austin outage that impacted as many as 18,000 customers, according to the Austin Energy power outage map.

AISD says the impacted schools included: Crockett High School, Ann Richards School, Sunset Valley Elementary, Joslin Elementary School, Cunningham Elementary School, St. Elmo Elementary, and Odom Elementary.

Austin Energy Spokesperson Matthew Mitchell said the Salem Hill substation in South Austin went offline. As a result, over 18,000 Austin Energy customers were left in the dark.

"Anytime something like this happens, we want to make sure that we understand why it happened and how to prevent it from happening again. But also, most importantly, is to safely restore power as quickly as possible," said Mitchell.

Mitchell explained substations must have an equal amount of power coming in as the amount of power going out. When that doesn't happen, it could cause extreme damage.

"Anytime an event like that occurs. We have fail safes in place at those substations to basically shut it down before there is major infrastructure damage and things that can be very serious in terms of property damage and potential human injury as well," he said.

As a result, a temporary power outage occurred on Wednesday in the area the substation serves. All power was restored to customers in about two hours.

Right now, it is not known why the levels of power were irregular.

"Upon investigation, it was determined that we had a discrepancy in the amount of energy that was coming into that substation and the amount of energy that was going out. And so that investigation continues as to why that was the case," said Mitchell.