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Making Power Line Infrastructure Improvements for the Super Bowl – New Jersey

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 30, 2014

Officials in New Jersey are working hard to ensure that the power does not go out in Sunday’s Super Bowl. No one wants a repeat of last year’s big game.

In addition to finding and fixing any electrical system defects that might cause an outage, workers have had to protect the power supply against the threat of an ice storm or other extreme winter weather too.

PSE&G has bolstered its infrastructure against bad weather and equipment failures. The upgrades include adding a power line to augment the two already in place to deliver power to the stadium complex. Each of the lines is capable of supplying the entire 12 megawatts of electricity that MetLife Stadium normally requires to power the lights and the rest of its standard power needs. In addition, the utility has positioned a backup mobile transformer less than a mile from the stadium, which can be deployed in case the normal circuitry that supplies the stadium fails.

New Jersey's stadium authority, which has responsibility for the electricity once it gets inside the complex, has upgraded its substation and taken steps to make sure everything works properly in the stadium itself. That included hiring an outside electricity construction consultant in an effort to spot and fix flaws.

Power engineering experts said that in some ways, the setting of the game—the first open-air venue in a cold-weather region to host the Super Bowl—actually makes it less likely that an electrical mishap will occur. MetLife doesn't have a massive air conditioning and heating system to draw huge amounts of electricity and add to the complexity of managing use.

Stadiums are particularly vulnerable to blackouts because they rely upon metal halide lights. While metal halide lamps are relatively efficient and produce bright light, they're sensitive to sudden drops in voltage.

In addition to checking wiring and equipment inside and outside the stadium, officials can guard against such disruptions by trimming tree branches that could fall on lines and cause short circuits, and by installing barriers to keep squirrels and other animals away from them.

Worries over a possible Super Bowl outage are symptomatic of a larger problem. Utilities have been spending money in recent years to modernize the grid and improve reliability.

But those improvements are being outpaced by our increasing dependence upon electric-powered gadgetry, the "always-on, always-connected society." As a result, people have become less tolerant and less patient when electrical power technology breaks down.

Even these big events have become more and more dependent upon things powered by electricity-the big replay screens, all of the electronic media at the game.

The worries about an outage dramatize a larger issue-the need to overhaul an aging electrical grid which was designed in the mid-20th century. We're putting more demand on it. We're stressing it in ways it was never designed to be handled. Power outages are happening every day in our homes, factories, and schools, but they're not getting as much attention as the Super Bowl.

For more information on improving power infrastructure, contact ElecComm.

National Geographic

Power Line Repairs and Maintenance During Winter Storms - Boston

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 03, 2014

During winter storms, like the Nor'easter pummeling the east coast today, ElecComm provides assistance to all the major public utility companies in New England by restoring power during major power outages caused by storms. When high winds and heavy snow brings tree limbs down on power lines, keeping power companies scrambling to restore power and utilities they call ECC.

During winter storms, often 1000’s of electric utility customers can end up without power. In order to reduce that number as fast as possible and to restore power to residential and commercial customers, utility companies call power line construction contractors like ECC.

Today, the National Weather Service is expecting gusty winds through mid-morning along with snow and below freezing temperatures. Both accidents and snow could bring down power lines and ECC is ready for storm response.

Our team is fully crossed trained and is ready for dispatch in preparation for any planned or unplanned event. Contact us for more information.


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