Sunday, January 02, 2011

PEPCO has not kept up its infrastructure; is DC especially vulnerable now to future solar storms?

The Washington Post has repeated reported that the problems all of 2010 with Pepco’s power outages are not that we live in a forest (like the Jamestown settlers), but that the infrastructure is old and has not kept up with business expansion. Dominion Power in Virginia is a little better, but still has problems just from equipment failure and “animals on the lines”. Squirrels, like from Pittsburgh.

When I lived in Dallas and Minneapolis, with newer systems, we did not have these kinds of outages. I actually interviewed for a contract mainframe programming job with Texas Utilities in 1988, and once visited the Glen Rose nuclear power plant in 1982.

Heaven help us if we really do experience big coronal mass ejections from solar storms in the future, and haven’t hardened our generating stations. Faraday cages, anyone?

The Washington Post had an editorial Dec. 28 “Penalize Pepco for poor performance”, link here.

No comments: