Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
A Manhattan power outage is forcing New York politicians to confront energy reality. The grid now needs redundancy Cuomo says as he fights gas power plants.
The Manhattan power outage yesterday on the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 Great Blackout is a powerful reminder for every energy-ignorant city dweller of the importance of backups, reliability and the avoidance of grid overloads. So, yesterday, Governor Corruptocrat tried to get in front of the issue by saying he gets it, because that’s what the political circumstances demanded.
Andrew Cuomo on May 10, 2018: “Power plants that burn gas we have all over the state. We would have to close them and that is the long term plan.”
Andrew Cuomo on July 14, 2019: “We need a better power system, a better grid with redundancies.”
He was talking about the electrical grid, of course, but he’s not so ignorant as to believe his own strategies of starving the grid of dispatchable power produced by natural gas, while overloading it with non-dispatchable solar energy that can peak dangerously at the wrong time couldn’t have something to do with it.
The Manhattan power outage shows God certainly has his own sense of schadenfreude, doesn’t it? The air conditioning went off for 72,000 Con Edison customers, from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River and the West 30s to 72nd Street, we’re told. The elevators also stopped, leaving a bunch of Manhattan fractivists without the comforts of modern city life. Bear in mind these are the same people who make it their business to fight fracking in our backyard and pipelines and power plants that would deliver our gas to them to make electricity.
This gas and these power plants wouldn’t do anything to stop mechanical failures per se, but those failures often come from high demand. We won’t know the exact cause in this instance until there is further investigation, the report of which will sagely come long after politicians such as Cuomo have shifted the blame from their own energy strategies to someone else, most likely Con Edison. Still, if grid redundancy is good, then energy production redundancy must also be good. Only a fool could believe otherwise. Any, overloading the grid with solar and wind energy at the wrong time must be bad. That much we can be safely assume.
Yet, Andrew Cuomo’s strategy is to eliminate dispatchable power that can be safely ramped up and down as needed to flow over relatively short sections of the grid, precisely geared to respond to demand. This is complemented by a program to stuff the grid with highly variable solar and wind energy created upstate and sent downstate over much longer distances. It’s a perfect formula for mechanical failure, whether or not it was a factor here.
While we’re waiting to find out, though, it’s fun to contemplate sweating New York fractivists on the West Side, isn’t it?