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DOE Report Sums Up Hurricane Sandy’s Energy-Related Toll

2 oil refineries and 3 nuclear units shut down, more than 8 million without electricity

1 min read
DOE Report Sums Up Hurricane Sandy’s Energy-Related Toll

This morning, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability issued a “situation report” summarizing Hurricane Sandy-related outages, plant shutdowns, and the like. Here are a few of the mostly grim highlights:

·      As of 9:00 am this morning, more than 8 million customers in 17 states plus the District of Columbia were without power. New Jersey residents have been by far the hardest hit, with nearly 2.5 million customers—62 percent of the state—having no electricity.

·      Three of the region's nuclear units—PSEG Nuclear’s Salem Unit 1 in southern New Jersey, Entergy Nuclear’s Indian Point Unit 3 in New York, and Constellation’s Nine Mile Unit 1 near Oswego, N.Y.—were shut down.

·     Two other nuclear plants—Exelon’s Limerick Unit 1 near Philadelphia and Dominion Resources’ Millstone nuclear Unit 3 near New London, Conn.—had their power reduced. The cause in each case was different. For example, Salem I’s shutdown was triggered by four of the station’s six circulating water pumps, which rely on Delaware Bay/River water, being unavailable due to Sandy.

·      Two oil refineries lost power: the Phillips 66 Bayway refinery in Linden, N.J.—the second-largest refinery on the East Coast—and the Hess refinery in Port Reading, N.J. Both had been shut down ahead of the storm, and as of Tuesday remained offline and without power. Four others, including the largest, Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ 330 000 barrel-a-day refinery, were operating at reduced levels.

·      Utility companies across the affected area have collectively mobilized tens of thousands of out-of-state workers and contractors. 

PHOTO: Betty Flowers. Taken on 29 October near the Wachapreague Marina in Virginia.

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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