No straightforward solutions in "Astoria Borealis" transformer fireplace listening to
A Metropolis Council listening to on Monday discovered no straightforward options to the December transformer fireplace that lit up the New York skyline electrical blue. Regardless of Metropolis Councilman Costa Constantinides’ effort to advance greener vitality as a potential answer to such issues, Con Edison executives maintained that it would not have made a lot of a distinction within the Astoria incident.
“Households throughout the road had their foundations shook, households did not know in the event that they needed to evacuate,” Constantinides stated. “This blue gentle was a highlight, shining a lightweight on the challenges our communities in Queens face day by day.”
On the night time of December 27, 2018, a hearth in an influence substation prompted a “sustained arc flash discharge,” which was rapidly dubbed “Astoria Borealis.” The malfunction not solely prompted a formidable gentle present, however knocked out energy for LaGuardia airport, Rikers Island and residential neighborhoods in and across the Astoria neighborhood of Queens.
As an answer to the facility outage prompted the transformer fireplace, Constantinides proposed changing metropolis gas-fired energy vegetation with battery grids powered by renewable vitality sources, not simply due to environmental justice, however as a result of such energy vegetation include severe dangers to the well being of their surrounding communities, he stated. And, as he identified, New York’s gas-fired energy vegetation are typically in lower-income, majority-minority communities.
“Questions have been raised about whether or not grid-scale battery storage services would have been in a position to mitigate these outages,” Constantinides stated. “We have to transition to renewable sources and guarantee our communities have a renewable future.”
A number of Con-Edison executives have been known as to testify, sustaining that the Astoria Borealis incident was unrelated to the supply of the vitality, however was resulting from gear failure of a “voltage monitoring system.”
“Thus far, we have now changed the defective gear, we have now put in a redundant system and are working immediately with the producer to reduce the prospect of this occurring once more,” stated Milovan Blair, a senior vice chairman at Con Ed.
“What occurred in Astoria was in a substation, which you’d want for a photo voltaic farm, wind farm, any form of inexperienced energy that you just would possibly arrange. It nonetheless may have occurred no matter what sort of energy we use,” stated Con Ed spokesman Michael Clendenin.
Con Ed executives maintained that the corporate’s transition to wash vitality is already underway, one thing about which Constantinides remarked to WCBS 880, “We will maintain them accountable to that.”