Here’s the account from the Charleston Gazette of how 20-30 mile per hour gusts were “knocking out power to thousands of West Virginians” on Monday.
The WV PSC will probably give both AEP and FirstEnergy significant rate increases in their current base rate cases for right of way maintenance. Monday’s local blackouts indicate, however, that WV’s aging electrical distribution system is still very brittle.
Keep in mind that this was just wind, on a relatively warm day. There was no rain or snow, and still there were thousands of customers without power.
Too bad WV government “leaders” aren’t taking a tip from New York on building real reliable electrical systems:
Under an innovative program to create at least 10 “microgrids” (independent community-based electric distributions systems) statewide, the State will launch NY Prize, a $40 million competition, to help build community-scale power grids for areas with approximately 40,000 residents. Microgrids can operate in tandem with existing power supply during normal conditions, but will disconnect and operate as an independent power system to keep the lights on during an emergency.