Posts

Showing posts from May, 2016

Paying the Wildfire Piper

Wildfire season on the Carolina coast features a warning din that’s annually overcome by the piper’s my-fire-won’t-get-out-of-control tune.Last month, Brunswick County made a down payment on the piper’s song that has no dollar price tag -- some 50,000 homes were left without electricity for hours late the night the Clemmons Road Fire went from trash fire to wildfire.The outages were triggered when the fire caused the westernmost of eight 230 kilovolt transmission lines distributing power from the Brunswick Nuclear Plant to fault out. Service was reestablished by isolating the fault, causing a disruption at the connector for Brunswick EMC, leaving the co-ops members without electricity.
With the grid capable of distributing less electricity, operators reduced Brunswick Nuclear Unit 2 power to 86% where it stayed for a day and a half until two fire-damaged transmission line supports were repaired.
Duke Energy hasn’t discussed the cost of repairing the support structures or reducing Unit 2…