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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Monday, August 18, 2003

 

Blackout 2003: Getting the grid back up

Blackout 2003: Getting the grid back up

From the New York Times:
"Restoring Lost Voltage Takes Time, and a Complex Choreography"
"Where is the electricity turned back on first? How quickly can it be restarted? How stable is it after the power is flowing again? Each question is decided not by a single group of engineers at a utility headquarters. Rather, it is a dance that must be perfectly choreographed among often-distant power generators, wholesale distributors of this power, local utilities like Consolidated Edison or the Long Island Power Authority, and their armies of electricians, who, after being sent out to hundreds of local substations, finally, and ever so thankfully, throw that switch."

"At every step along the way, there are opportunities for slip-ups that will send the local system, or perhaps even the region, back into the black."

"'It is like matching the speed of two race cars where the nose of the car is at exactly the same place at the same time,' said Thomas Spatz, the director of electric service at KeySpan , which operates the system for Long Island Power Authority."

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