Up to 500 businesses and homes in Edinburgh city centre were left without power.
Scottish Power confirmed to the Evening News that a faulty cable at a sub station in Thistle Street had caused the power cut.
Properties in Princes Street, George Street and the surrounding area was facing a blackout with engineers called out to rectify the problem.
A Scottish Power spokesman said the outage had not been caused by the set-up or testing for the Capital’s Christmas Festival, which opens this weekend.
“We received reports of properties in the Princes Street area being without power this afternoon and engineers went to the Thistle Street sub station to solve the problem,” the spokesman said.
“We received the call at 3pm and had all the power back on within 45 minutes.
“Scottish Power apologies for any inconvenience caused.”
Scottish Fire Service, meanwhile, were called to a spate of fire alarms in the city centre being triggered by a “power surge”.
There were six false alarms at offices in York Place, Princes Street and Rose Street in a 20-minute period from 3pm.