Thursday, November 24, 2011

A black eye for "smart" grid white knights ? -- And who will pay for 100s of millions of dollars of losses from the Great Southwestern Blackout ?


If you think this was bad, wait until a solar coronal mass ejection-induced blackout lasting weeks or months takes place.  The plaintiffs' bar will be happily busy for years.  Now the news from San Diego:

"Blackout sparks multiple investigations -- Restoration ends immediate inconvenience, but reviews of massive outage will go on"

San Diego Union-Tribune -- September 9, 2011

"Investigators on Friday poured into San Diego, Yuma and Folsom, home of California’s main power system operator, to figure out how a modest failure in the Arizona desert became the worst blackout in San Diego history.

They will spend months determining whether the problem was a mistake by one utility worker, or a massive breakdown of a system that is supposed to maintain reliability above all — or both.

According to San Diego Gas & Electric, an Arizona utility worker went to fix faulty equipment at a substation and triggered the meltdown that left almost 7 million people in two countries in the dark for hours.

Some experts already are convinced the system shutdown was avoidable, only because so many fail-safes are supposed to be in place.

“Every possible contingency is planned for,” said Robert McCullough, a utility consultant from Portland, Ore. who has been following the San Diego case.  “Unless there’s a catastrophic event like a tsunami or an earthquake, we should have been prepared.”

Officials at several government agencies announced investigations, inquiries and special reviews of the failure, which stretched from Orange County into Mexico and persisted in some places for more than 24 hours."


Rest of the article is here on the San Diego Union-Tribune web site:


And a related article:


POSTED 09 Sept 2011 by:

David A. Palella
[ Electro-Magnetic Pulse Defense Council(sm) ]

San Diego, California
cell: 619-787-5767

EMP Defense Council -- Preparing for Electro-Magnetic Pulse

(1) Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) Defense Council(C) Founded in San Diego, California on Pearl Harbor Day

(2) The EMP Defense Council(C) Announces the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) Priority Hardening List Ranked by Industry Vulnerability, and Proposes a Markets-Based Approach to Addressing Solar or Nuclear EMP Events

(3) EMP Defense Council(SM) Highlights Calculable Risks of Solar Cycle Peak in 2013