Blog Archive

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Very Hot Evening for 350 Homes

About 4:00 yesterday afternoon Glasgow was struck by a particularly intense lightning storm. We had lightning strikes that resulted in damaged equipment in many parts of town, but the worst damage and largest group of customers suffering an outage came from a strike to one of our circuits feeding out of Gorin Park Substation. This circuit fed all of the East Main area and a large portion of the central business area of Glasgow.

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!


Unknown said...

I have a Honeywell non-programmable digital thermostat which has a 5 minute delay for start up after a power failure. It works really well and costs about $50 wholesale. It should be installed by an HVAC technician.
I had a programmable thermostat which never really worked properly. This one is much better.