São Paulo, Brazil — A failure in Brazil’s energy system on Tuesday caused blackouts in nearly every state across the country.
Roraima, Brazil’s northernmost state in the Amazon rainforest which is not connected to the national power grid, was the only state not affected.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy reported a failure at 8:31 AM local time that resulted in electrical separation from the national power system.
The ministry did not provide a cause for the failure, but according to Brazil’s government, after detecting a problem in the grid, authorities decided it was necessary to shut down the system to avoid a complete collapse.
Brazilians in much of the country were left without power for about two hours, but cities in the North and Northeast didn’t have power reestablished for more than four hours.
In large cities like São Paulo, subway service was interrupted and city traffic lights were inoperable.
According to a 2021 report from the United States Department of Commerce, Brazil has a total installed capacity of 181.6 gigawatts of power. The country’s grid is mostly powered by renewable energy sources such as hydropower.