Con Edison, New York City’s electric utility company, say they have determined the cause of the blackout that struck Manhattan earlier this month.
Con Ed released the following statement:
Since we issued our preliminary findings into the cause of the July 13th power outage on the West Side of Manhattan, we have conducted extensive testing of equipment and a thorough review into why our relay protection system did not perform as designed. Our engineers have determined the root cause and taken steps to prevent a recurrence.
As part of our investigation, we reviewed 15 years of operating data and took equipment out of service at our 65th Street substation to conduct diagnostic testing, which allowed us to simulate the event. We identified a flawed connection between some of the sensors and protective relays at the substation. We have corrected that condition.
Out of an abundance of caution, we have taken preventive measures by isolating similar relay equipment at other substations. We will analyze and test the equipment before we put it back in service. Our electrical delivery system continues to operate with multiple layers of relay protection.
The New York City grid is one of the most complex and technologically advanced in the world, with multiple layers of redundancy. In electrical systems, a relay detects abnormal conditions on the electrical delivery system and instantly sends signals to circuit breakers to open and isolate the problem. We are confident that we have identified the cause of the July 13th outage, and taken the corrective actions necessary to provide safe, reliable service for our customers.