February 03, 2020

Sparks Are Flying: The Growing Tension between Energy Storage and Fire Safety Stakeholders

Abi Christoph

 

I. Introduction

In the winter of 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, bringing substantial flooding, power outages affecting over 8 million people, and over 70 billion dollars in damages. In New York City (NYC), the flooding caused a transformer in a substation in lower Manhattan to explode, plunging the financial center of the United States into darkness for several days. Since Sandy, local utility Con Edison (ConEd) has spent over one billion dollars in weatherproofing equipment (storm hardening) as well as carving up “distribution networks so that smaller sections can be shut off remotely when floodwaters rise.”

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