NJ:Substation tripped power line

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September 23, 2000 Story Search Substation tripped power line

Published in the Asbury Park Press 9/23/00 By DAVID P. WILLIS BUSINESS WRITER An errant substation on a corporate customer's property resulted in a series of frequent, but brief, electricity outages this summer that hit residents from Middletown and Colts Neck to Eatontown and Shrewsbury.

The privately owned malfunctioning equipment caused trips on GPU Energy's eight-mile 34,500-volt transmission line, which serves the area between Red Bank and Tinton Falls. The outages lasted 30 seconds to 90 seconds and occurred between June 27 and Aug. 29.

"We started calling our town 'the town that couldn't get up on time,' " said Shrewsbury Township resident Robin Kane. "We were resetting clocks daily."

The interruptions wreaked havoc on appliances. Senior citizens, including some with medical equipment, also suffered because of the outages, Kane added.

GPU Energy workers searched for the cause of the outages, examining the entire line after each incident, GPU Energy's Senior Vice President Michael B. Roche said in a letter to customers.

Six substations along the line also were studied using infrared technology that would highlight flaws not visible to the naked eye. The company also performed unscheduled maintenance, including replacing lightning arrestors and tree trimming.

GPU discovered the problem was caused by a defective piece of equipment at a customer-owned substation. The equipment was sending electricity back into the system, GPU Energy spokesman Ronald Morano said. He would not name the equipment's owner.

Morano said the equipment was disconnected from GPU Energy's system and is being repaired.

"We are confident that the problem has been identified and solved and that our system will once again operate at the levels you expect," Roche said in a letter.

Published on September 23, 2000


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 23, 2000

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