Lights OUT!


No, we’re not at summer camp – the East coast is just beginning to be electrified after the largest blackout in history. What caused this blackout? Overloading of the system with market transactions in a utility effort to make as much profit as they could in the wholesale market that rose with high demand for power in the current heat wave – I have that report from a cohort who works with an electrical engineer with a Ph.D. in power engineering who has been an expert in transmission cases here and elsewhere.

What’s the state of the transmission grid out east right now? – (click below the map on R for larger view)

We don’t need more transmission – what we need is Distributed Generation – building new generation near load. More transmission only builds continued reliance on a grid that is not sustainable, that is operated for profit rather than public purpose, and which is a great security risk. More smaller generating units closer to end use makes a lot more sense than HUGE generators a long ways away connected by that vulnerable thin string of a transmission line – it’s not that complicated — as they say in transmission circles, “It’s all connected!” By building close, we virtually eliminate the need for new transmission.

See Greg Palast’s blog for August 15, 2003 about the blackout.

Blackout hits 50 million in U.S., Canada, Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/15/03

Blackout hits Northeast; thousands here lose power, Buffalo News, 8/15/03

Great blackout of ’03, Boston Globe, 8/15/2003

Various coverage, New York Times, 8/15/03

Various coverage,, 8/15/03

Hears what Harvey Wasserman has to say:
The latest bogus fossil-nuke blackout: this grid should not exist By Harvey Wasserman – The Free Press August 15, 2003

Comments are closed.