Sniper Attack on Power Grid Triggers Need for Emergency Backup Power

Power Grid Sniper Attack

A well-orchestrated sniper attack on Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Metcalf power substation last year knocked out multiple transformers that supply power to Silicon Valley. Was this the work of vandals, or is this highly sophisticated attack a preliminary test by a terrorist organization bent on shutting down the nation’s high-tech sector?

The 19-minute attack saw 17 transformers tactically knocked out of commission.  The shooters disappeared minutes before police arrived on scene. To avoid a blackout, PE & G officials redirected power around the site and asked neighboring power plants to produce more electricity. According to the San Jose Mercury News, at about 3:00am a month after the attack, “a man dressed in all black was spotted … in a field next to the property, setting off a large search by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. … Sheriff’s deputies searched the area but did not locate the man.”

It took workers 27 days to get the substation was back up and running. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, said the event makes it “clear that the electric grid is not adequately protected.”

Power emergencies aren’t always the result of extreme weather conditions but they can be just as costly.

Power emergencies aren’t always the result of extreme weather conditions but they can be just as costly. The U.S. economy loses between $80 billion and $188 billion dollars per year as a result these disturbances. No matter the cause, it is imperative to have an emergency backup plan. Is your company well-equipped to handle such an emergency?

Emergency back-up power generation must be at the core of emergency recovery plans as a strategic means for protecting our homes and businesses. ESL’s quick connect manual transfer switch can provide a cost-effective solution for municipalities and businesses ready to take action in preparation for the next power outage.

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