I had glanced at Matt Wald’s article in the New York Times the other day, but I didn’t read it closely. I read it more closely after it showed up on a Google search today. Wald is at it again, cheerleading for PATH.
This latest effort is focused on a robot that Wald compares with WALL-E, a robot that presides over a dead planet filled with obsolete junk. Wald claims that this robot will be used to monitor and maintain the gigantic new 765 kV power lines that AEP and Al Gore see as our future.
The plan is to try it out on a line that utilities are planning to build through West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland, called PATH, for Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline. The line would be 285 miles long, and it would probably take three robots to ensure that each stretch was inspected twice a year.
Wald doesn’t say whether West Virginia rate payers would be paying for the robot, but I’ll bet we would be if PATH were ever built.
Mr. Wald needs to watch the news a little more closely. If he did, he would find out that there is now a much better and more practical project (Dominion’s Alternative 1) that makes PATH and its robots completely unnecessary.
He even gets a little creepy in his article as he tells us that one of the great features of the robot is that it can spy for the power companies into people’s backyards. Just what we need, more surveillance by power companies. We get enough of that here on The Power Line.
I did think the comparison between the PATH robot and WALL-E was apt — derelict robot tending obsolete technology. Sounds about right.