ConEd Ties NYC Blackout to a Bad Wiring Job Done 11 Years Ago

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ConEd Ties NYC Blackout to a Bad Wiring Job Done 11 Years Ago(Bloomberg) -- More than two weeks after a blackout plunged much of Manhattan’s west side into darkness, Consolidated Edison Inc. has identified the culprit: poor wiring.Faulty wiring was installed 11 years ago between sensors and a relay system designed to detect and keep electrical faults from spreading, ConEd spokesman Michael Clendenin said in a phone interview Monday. It came back to haunt the utility July 13, when a 13,000-volt underground cable broke down and sensors failed to alert the system to open breakers and isolate the outage.“There’s got to be appropriate wiring between the sensor and the relay -- and it was not there,” Clendenin said. “It was not done right from its installation 11 years ago.”The outage left more than 70,000 customers without power, paralyzed much of the subway system, darkened Times Square and forced the evacuation of Madison Square Garden during a Jennifer Lopez concert. New York lawmakers have called for investigations of ConEd, which are ongoing. Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested a government takeover of the utility.De Blasio didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office referred to comments the governor made shortly after the power failure, when he directed “power experts” in the state to carry out an independent investigation into what caused the blackout. ConEd said in a statement that it reviewed 15 years of operating data at the 65th Street substation where the blackout began, fixed the faulty wiring and has taken other equipment out of service to conduct diagnostic testing.To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Eckhouse in New York at beckhouse@bloomberg.net;Christopher Martin in New York at cmartin11@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Joe RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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