Monday, September 28, 2015

DC Metro transformer fire incident does not bode well for power grid readiness


Washington DC’s Metro will need six months to replace a power transformer near the old RFK Stadium and Armory after an accidental fire damaged it. 
  
Local media have described the service changes here  which will affect rush hour and disrupt some people, especially in NE Washington.  Metro describes the situation here. The service reductions are related to lower availability of power at the station during extensive repairs.

I think the incident is worthy of mention here because of the extremely long time it will take to replace one transformer.  I’ve discussed this issue before here in relation to the possibility of major power grid transformer damage from extreme solar storms or even terrorist (localized or widespread EMP).  If it takes Metro six months to replace one relatively small unit, how long would it take power companies to fix bigger problems? There are transformer manufacturers in both Lynchburg and Roanoke VA, but many parts come from overseas.


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