Sat 16 Aug, 2003 07:55 am
This has been on A2K before. Deregulation is only part of the problem with the northeast electrical grid. Out of control growth, hot weather, NIMBY syndrome that makes it difficult to build new power lines, environmental protests and misdirection of capital into overbuilding power plant capacity rather then transmission capacity which generates little income, all played a part. Also because demand is so variable because of the increased demand from air conditioning and climate control system the grid can act in ways that were not anticipated. To offer an example, I have a friend who lives in a building that is completely climate controlled. It is always 70 degrees F with 60 percent humidity. It is a fabulous place to live but the building sucks power like a sponge and it is not a unique building shopping malls, government buildings and many others are similar. These things can place tremendous demands on the electrical grid when it gets hot and muggy as it has been in the northeast US for the last week.