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Power outage at CES plunges thousands of exhibitors and attendees into darkness

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is home to all manner of different technologies, and just about all of them have something in common: they require power to work. Unfortunately, that was a commodity in short supply at CES today as its main building, the Las Vegas Convention Center’s (LVCC) Central Hall, was plunged into darkness for over an hour. Fortunately, power was restored following what’s being called an “isolated power outage.”

The power outage started at around 11:14am PT. The outage follows a previous one that forced Google to shutter its display in the LVCC’s car park. The LVCC’s Central Hall is home to booths from major companies including Sony, Samsung, and LG. Attendees who were in the venue were evacuated. No explanation was given for the outage, although sources told Digital Trends it was related to a transformer in the parking lot. The issue came after the city’s first rainfall in more than 100 days, which caused flash floods. Ironically, today’s weather is clear, warm, and dry.

It was bad news for all involved: Digital Trends’ live-stream was temporarily down, tech demonstrations were brought to a grinding halt, and booths belonging to companies (including smaller startups) who paid a premium to be at CES were left unable to do anything. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the event’s organizer, said that booths in the South and North halls were unaffected by the outage.

In a tweet, the official CES account wrote that: “We’ve been informed by Nevada Power that the outage has been addressed and they are in the process of restoring power. We will continue to restrict access until full power has been restored. Thank you for your continued patience. We encourage you to visit other open show areas.”

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show 2018 is predicted to welcome 170,000 attendees from around the world to Las Vegas this year. The event boasts 3,900 exhibitors, although not a whole lot of them were able to do much temporarily. Given that this is only day two, hopefully this problem won’t be a recurring one on subsequent days of the event.

Right about now would be the perfect time for someone to introduce the breakthrough grid-free renewable energy source they’ve been working on. Anyone?

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Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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