Monday, 12 July 2010

Electricidade dos Açores


The image above is plucked from the website of EDA, Electricidade dos Açores, our electricity supplier. It depicts a contented young couple about to switch on a TV set powered by electricity delivered to the socket by EDA. He is saying "Oh, Maria do Carmo, aren't we lucky to have our electricity supplied by EDA! It means we can watch the final of the World Cup!" And she is saying "Yes, José Manuel, it's a bit of a stroke that they deliver electricity so beautifully because we've no choice but to get it from EDA!"

Yes, well such scenes of blissful contentment might have been typical on other Azorean islands yesterday evening but not on Flores where there was a POWER CUT in the 115th minute of the final. Yes, that's right, the winning goal was scored in the 116th minute. But those heroes at EDA redeemed themselves by restoring the juice in the 123rd minute - right again: the game lasted 122 minutes.

I blame the ref.
 

Power cuts are quite frequent here (about once a month) but they seldom last long (about 10-15 minutes although what they make up for in brevity is often lost in terms of unfortunate timing as witness last night). For those interested (did I just say that?), Flores' electricity is generated by a hydro-electric power station ...

(With apologies to Paul Camilli)

... and when the water runs low, an oil fired generator comes on line ...
 
(With apologies to Isabel & Colin Sharp)

And to back all that up, there are two windmills ...


A new thermic (whatever that means) power station is in the course of being built near Lajes. Can't come soon enough. Let's hope it's fully in commission by the time Euro 2012 kicks off.

9 comments:

Kathie said...

OH, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Have you considered having photovoltaic cells installed on your roof, or elsewhere on your property (i.e., D-I-Y power)?

Marisa said...

xiii... that was uncool, at least. I didn't watch the game (don't know why, I've developed a certain, how shall I say this... antipatia por nuestros hermanos, ehheh). I thought those electricity problems were solved. It was worse you know? Flores was the only island not served by EDA until some years ago, they had the Federação, that was administrated between the two town halls. EDA has big plans for Flores in terms of energy suply, with a new "Central" on Ribeira Grande, let's hope that the impact on the environment will be minimal (I doubt it). The wind mill shown is on Corvo, at Flores there are water mills, as I'm sure you know.

Neil King and Carol Duncan said...

Kathie - No. I hear anecdotally that solar panels don't hold up well in the salty and humid atmosphere here and are a source of unremitting heartache to those who have them.

Marisa - Didn't know about the "Federação" - that's interesting. I've been hearing about the hydro scheme on the Rib. G. for as long as we've been here (4 years) but nothing has ever happened about it. Has it not been superseded by the new power station at Lajes which must be about 1/2-2/3 finished by now?

Kathie said...

I hadn't stopped to consider the erosion potential from such a salty, humid atmosphere. Maybe the Flemish pioneers had the right idea with their windmills!

Speaking of power outages, when I house-sat in June 2004 for American friends living just outside the US Air Force Base at Lajes, Terceira, they warned me during the hand-off phase that most Sundays the electrical power went off for an hour or so at 11 AM in their neighborhood, so not to be concerned or surprised when/if it happened.

Being an unrepentant heathen, after sleeping late and preparing a leisurely Sunday breakfast, circa 10:30 AM I donned my swimsuit, sunglasses and broad-brimmed straw sun-hat, grabbed a book of bilingual Azorean poetry I'd been given, went out to the house's side patio and artfully arranged myself so as to attract optimal sun, for a leisurely few hours of blissful uninterrupted reading and sunbathing -- or until it started drizzling, whichever came first.

My serenity was disrupted just after 11 AM when the American man living next door (a civilian who worked at the Base, whom I'd never seen before) came bounding out of his house to announce with the greatest astonishment in his voice that his electricity had just gone off, and to inquire if mine had too. Let's just say that he seemed to want to make friends.

I doffed my sunglasses and hat, set down my book (which had been concealing my tummy from the direction of his house) and sat upright -- at which point the doofus realized that despite my long shapely bronze legs and enticingly generous tanned cleavage (pretty much all he'd been able to discern of me from his kitchen window, I later concluded), I was in fact a plump, grey-haired, considerably older lady whom he would never have "hit on" had he but realized ;-))))

I replied civilly that my friends had told me the power went off most Sundays at that time, so I was neither surprised nor concerned. He beat as rapid a retreat as humanly possible back indoors, and I never saw hide nor hair of him again during my remaining time there!

Kathie said...

P.S. I did wonder at the time if the regular power outage at Lajes, Terceira, was in aid of some weekly maintenance duty. Does this happen on schedule on Flores (and other islands) as well?

Marisa said...

Kathie, sometimes it´s just a domestic problem,and people that are unfamiliar with electricity issues may not know how to see if everything is allright with the electricity board. Or he could just be trying is luck, eehehe.

Kathie said...

Marisa, the owners for whom I was house-sitting made it clear that everyone in the neighborhood knew this was a REGULARLY-scheduled outage (almost every Sunday at 11 AM sharp). Their neighbor was just trying to check me out in hopes of getting lucky, but didn't realize I was a whole lot older and more decrepit than what he could see at a distance from the back window of his house. (Also, he had no way of knowing I was married, so I wouldn't have been interested anyhow!) I just found his hubris and use of the power-outage pretext predatorily humorous.

Mary said...

Bummer. You'll never get those crucial few minutes back.

David said...

i found this blog of everyday life on flores searching for a better place for living. is it possible to find jobs for electrician computer engeener and a place to live there. me and my wife are searching for a normal peaceful place to live and grow up children.
thank you for this blog
rusjan@gmail.com