On Thursday evening I sponsored a community meeting in Edgemont with representatives of Con Ed and residents who experienced a number of power outages last year. The meeting was very informative.
Con Ed promises an aggressive plan to reduce the potential for massive outages. $107 million in infrastructure enhancements will take place. Among initiatives: infra-red inspections...analyzing transformers...replacement of wires...replacing transfer stations...building a new Elmsford substation...underground feeder distribution improvements...more tree trimming. The tree trimming initiative is designed to open up more space between branches and power lines. The tree trimming should reduce the number of power outages -- although it won't prevent them. Residents will be notified before the tree trimming initiative takes place in their neighborhood. The program is scheduled to begin in Greenburgh around the 2nd half of this year.
Con Ed studied the reasons why there were so many outages on Edgemont streets and provided residents with an analysis.
Con Ed is also studying the costs, benefits and negatives of placing power lines underground. The company indicated that they hired 1,300 new employees in 2006. More hiring will take place.
I hope that these proactive measures will reduce the potential for major power outages in the future.
Con Ed representatives who participated in the meeting indicated that many of the trees that fell were planted in the 1930s. These trees have a life span of about 70 years. The insides of the trees that fell were rotten.
Some additional bits of information: 8.47% of the outages were caused by animals: squirrels jumping on a transformer, for example, causing an outage. 1.50% were caused by lightning strikes. 1.07% of the outages were caused by traffic accidents.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor