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When that particular strike occurred the circuit opened immediately plunging about 350 customers into sweltering darkness. Normally lightning strike outages are a pretty quick fix, but the time of day and the temperature combined to make it nearly impossible to restore the circuit to normal yesterday.
When temperatures are extreme and electric power usage is very high, restoring power after an outage can be difficult. This comes from us attempting to pick up the starting load of every air conditioner and computer and industrial machine connected to the circuit at one time. This is a bit complicated, but suffice to say that such conditions can result in momentary electric demand being roughly twelve times the normal demand until the air conditioners and motors get back up to speed. That happened to us yesterday evening and then we had to go to extreme, and time consuming measures to cut the circuit down and pick it up in little pieces to get it to hold. This was our first extensive outage caused by the extreme heat this summer, and we certainly hope it will be the last.
You can help prevent these events by paying close attention to the clock, the temperature, and the appliances in your home or business. Until this amazing heat wave breaks, every weekday afternoon from 2:00 until 8:00 p.m. will be critical to the electric system. ANY electric power usage you can defer from those hours will help stabilize the electric grid. More particularly, if your home or business does experience an outage, please turn all possible loads off while we are attempting to restore the power. This will greatly enhance our chances of getting overloaded circuits to hold.
For those of you who suffered nearly five hours of power outage during extreme heat, we sincerely apologize. Also, for those of you who did suffer but continued to call and encourage us, thank you so very much. We truly are all in this together!
About 10:00 p.m. a burst of wind, or a lightning strike, caused a large tree, several dozen feet away from our transmission line just south of town on 31E, to fall toward the transmission line which also carries one of FRECC's distribution circuits. Since we had 90% of the town switched to feed from this line as part of our abnormal configuration during the construction of our new primary substation, when that tree tripped out that transmission line, 90% of our customers were in the dark.
We knew this was a risk when we decided to build the new substation and to reconfigure our network to allow its construction. It is just like major construction on the interstates. We all hate the reduced speed limits and the endless ocean of orange barrels and concrete barriers, but it sure is wonderful when the work is done. Such will be the case after November when East Glasgow Primary is energized and serving our community. But, until then, we are going to be constantly aware that falling trees can wreak havoc on our lives here in Glasgow.
Last night our team found the tree and, in concert with FRECC folks, got it cut up and removed from the transmission line, allowing us to restore all power in about 90 minutes from when the tree fell. Some of our customers were back in service sooner as we found a way to re-route power to about half of the city by about 11:00.
Again, if you will click on the links above and sign up to receive our Facebook and Twitter updates, you will know about these events as they happen! Thanks for your understanding and confidence in us as we work to create an electric power network which will serve our community very well for many years into the future.
At about noon on Thursday, 3,000 EPB customers experienced another outage when an undetected wiring problem at Front Street Substation resulted in a circuit breaker trip during a maintenance operation. We were doing this during extreme weather, just to make doubly sure that the system would hold after reconfiguring several things during the Wednesday night outage. Hindsight is 20/20 and now we wish we had just left everything alone until early Friday morning, but, we took a chance and it bit 3,000 of our customers as a result. We are very sorry and will learn from this mistake. Everyone was back in service within an hour, but even that was a major inconvenience that we are sorry to have caused.
There is a lot of buzz in Glasgow these days about telephone, cable, and internet service. A very small amount of that buzz is about something that is actually true. The rest of it is being promoted by out-of-town representatives of a large telephone company that does business in Glasgow, even though they don't care enough about our community to actually keep an office open here.
The true part is that Norlight, Inc. (the company that used to be called Cinergy Communications) has made the decision to leave the Glasgow market by early next year. This is the company that provides telephone service over the Glasgow EPB network, and for whom EPB used to do the billing and perform trouble call work. Norlight recently announced in their monthly billing that all Norlight telephone customers in Glasgow need to begin the process of looking for an alternate telephone provider. We understand this decision since wired telephone service is really on the decline as more and more folks go for cell phones instead.
The false part of the buzz is being created by sales people for the large telephone company. They are reportedly knocking on doors all over town and telling a variety of untruths. They say EPB is leaving the internet business. This is totally untrue as we are in the middle of major upgrades to our internet system. They say EPB is leaving the cable television business. This is totally false as our commitment to providing the best cable television service available anywhere is a main priority for our team.
So, we are pulling out all of the stops with our video advertising, this blog, and even our Facebook pages, to make sure that those of us who actually live and work here know the facts. If someone knocks on your door and tries to continue spreading these lies, please feel free to set them straight for us!
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