Power Outages On The Decline

from the even-as-power-use-is-up dept

While you might not realize it, especially following last week’s Los Angeles blackout (due to human error), it turns out that in the last few years the electric utility industry has been fixing up a lot of problems, meaning fewer electrical related problems this summer. Fewer brownouts and fewer blackouts, even as people cranked up their air conditioners and their 64 different consumer electronics products plugged into the same outlet. It seems that the big northeast blackout from a few years ago woke some people up and they realized that it was about time some infrastructure improvements were put in place. Of course, there are still worries about whether they’ll be able to keep up, but other than work crews accidentally cutting lines to an entire city or hurricanes wiping out nearly all infrastructure — this year’s has been a pretty good year for keeping the lights on.

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Comments on “Power Outages On The Decline”

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Mousky (user link) says:

Article is questionable

That article is a wee bit loose with the facts. It would have us believe that the 2003 blackout was caused by branches falling on power lines. It was sagging power lines falling on trees that caused one of the power lines to fail (the more juice that goes through a power line the heavier the power line gets). It was a combination of events that lead to the blackout: other power lines failing, the tripping of a generating plant, and the failure of an alarm system to warn of the problems with the transmission system and force the Midwest Independent System Operator to isolate the FirstEnergy’s system.

That same article also mentions that little has been done. Not much has been done on the Lake Erie Loop since the blackout. Additional transmission lines have not been added. I don’t see how things have improved. Maybe in California, but here in the midwest/northeast US and central Canada, I have not seen any substantial improvements.

Doug says:

Chicago Decline

ComEd, Chicago’s power company, used to have outtages multiple times each summer. I’ve lived here for twenty plus years, and this summer (and the last) are the first in my memory that, despite being as hot (and AC hogging) as any other, have been pretty much outtage free. They’re recent ad campaign claims they’re getting better; guess it’s not just propaganda.

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