National Grid deals with equipment failure

Jun 20, 2012

Two major power outages in the Syracuse area in the span of 48 hours left thousands of central New Yorkers in the dark. National Grid says the common denominator for both problems is connected to a substation on Syracuse's north side.

First, equipment that regulates voltage as needed, called a load tap changer, failed Friday night. This killed power to almost 11,000 residents, mostly in the city of Syracuse.

National Grid spokeswoman Virginia Limmiatis says a mobile substation was brought in to help during the repair of the equipment. After more trouble, 16,000 households were left in the dark in Syracuse, Salina, Dewitt and North Syracuse yesterday. 

"The lode tap changer- that is what  started it and unfortunately it's really hard to predict when equipment fails, and unfortunately we experienced cable failure in the mobile substation that connects the mobile substation to the station itself," Limmiatis said.

Limmiatis says another power outage over the weekend was the result of equipment failure as well. She says the utility continually checks equipment but it's impossible to tell when something is going to fail.