Opinion: The heat wave nearly broke our power grid and some of our readers have asked us about what to do now.
A power outage in New York City forced power outages to 40,000 North American homes and businesses, with more than 100,000 customers having to find temporary power.
The power cut was particularly harmful to the middle class, which suffered the most from both the peak demand and the duration of the outage. According to a preliminary report, about 3,000 middle class homes, apartments and condos with incomes of $600,000 or more, suffered the most damage as a result of the grid failure.
The failure almost went out of control when three transformers overheated. That’s how it was described on this New York Governor Cuomo press conference and in this New York Times report from a few hours before the outage, but more details were revealed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority:
“Three out of five transformers on the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) were identified for tripping, resulting in an almost complete loss of transformers at the North Shore. This led to the tripping of the NYISO’s emergency diesel generators, which in turn resulted in a power outage for the bulk of the grid, which affected more than 40,000 homes and businesses in the borough of Queens alone.
These three transformers were in the vicinity of the Queens Village, New York, substation, which provides power to North Bergen, Farmingdale, Jersey City, Port Jefferson, Oceanside, Sayville, and Suffolk. This substation supplies power to the North Shore, Long Island and much of Long Island. In addition, these transformers generated power for the entire New York City area, thus creating a domino effect.”
That’s not the only failure. In the last days there have been multiple failures in the New York electric grid, leaving power outages to more than half the New York state population, which includes the city of Rochester. According to reports,