SOURCE: Industrial Info Resources

Industrial Info Resources

September 09, 2011 22:01 ET

The True Cause of the California Blackout: Aged Power Transmission Infrastructure, an Industrial Info News Alert

SUGAR LAND, TX--(Marketwire - Sep 9, 2011) - Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- In one of the largest blackouts of the past decade, millions of people in parts of Southern California, Arizona and Mexico were without power Thursday night and Friday morning. Amid the flurry of news about the situation, many questions are being asked: Who was the technician who supposedly caused the blackout? What was he actually working on at the Yuma-area substation? How and why did this get past the Yuma area?

However, one of the larger issues surrounding the incident seems to have, in large part, escaped discussion: the instability of our power transmission and distribution system and what is being done to remedy the situation. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) (Phoenix, Arizona), a subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE:PNW) (Phoenix), has tried several times to upgrade the North Gila-Imperial Valley 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line. This proposal has been met with resistance from both environmental and special interest groups in the past. The project was reproposed in 2010 in APS's 2014 energy plan.

APS is only one of many utilities across the United States fighting for funding, right-of-way approvals and permitting, all the while fending off attacks from various NIMBYish special interest groups. As part of its North American Power Industry Database, IIR is tracking more than $76 billion in transmission and distribution projects that are in various stages of planning and development throughout the U.S.

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