The workers bringing Toronto’s power back on deserve our appreciation.
It seems likely that all Toronto power customers blacked out by last weekend’s ice storm will be reconnected by Saturday.
Please come to Nathan Philip Square for 5 PM Saturday, December 28, minutes after sundown, to say thank you to the workers who brought Toronto back to full power.
Right now thousands of outside and inside workers are performing very demanding, often risky work in difficult conditions. We are indebted to so many, including the line workers, forestry crews, crane operators, inspectors, engineers, mechanics, inventory workers, control room operators, IT workers, customer service representatives, emergency service officials, and the utility crews from utilities as far away as Michigan and Manitoba.
Once service is restored for all Toronto Hydro customers, here will be some questions that Toronto Hydro should have to answer about the recovery, but for now the utility’s full focus is properly directed at restoring service to those still freezing in the dark.
Maybe now that the public’s attention is focused on electricity they just might become interested in Ontario energy issues?
Some of the public thinks that underground lines would solve the storm issues. While this is true in situations where power is produced in or very near urban centres this will not be the case when hundres of kilometers of above ground transmission lines will be needed to carry power from rural Ontario to urban areas.
Severe weather conditions in Ontario will take these rural lines down that feed into urban areas. Wind turbines and solar panel parks can also be knocked out.
The only perfect solution is to put all power lines underground, and to have small distributed generating stations near the demand centres (rather than far away). Three problems: Huge cost of putting everything (including high voltage power lines) underground, the higher cost of smaller generation (lose economies of scale), the NIMBY phenomenon of having generation nearby.
Engineers have to make tradeoffs. You can build a super-reliable system that will cost a huge amount and raise everyone’s rates by at least 50% or accept the 1 in 10 year or so failure of the system and the cost and human impact of that failure. Another way to put it is Cost of Improvements must be less than Cost of Societal Impacts x Probable likelihood of occurrence.
The big unknown is the probability of this happening. Can we rely on historical statistics? (last big ice storm was in 1998) or is this going to happen more frequently with climate changing?
The climate on planet earth has been changing for eons.
Bring on more climate change accompanied by even more predicted severe weather and knock out all the wind turbines and solar parks along with their transmission lines.
Obviously TH did not learn from Sandy. They knew this storm could have devastating effects but didn’t plan accordingly. Apparently there were only 2 crews out there on Sunday. Guys in the trades know the true story.
There is a time and a place for reviewing lessons learned. Right now, Toronto Hydro needs public support. Now it looks like some customers may still be freezing the dark Saturday. However, I hope the event will be in time to directly say thanks to out-of-town crews before they go back home.
This is a nice way to thak all who came to help.
As of Christmas day there were still some people without power across Michigan and Quebec.
When a widespread weather event such as this ice storm occurs it may not be possible to get outside help when needed.
The best way to prepare is to make sure the power system is as secure as it can possibly be. Wind turbines and solar parks are not secure power sources.
We are thankful for restoration of power but extremely frustrated with the explanations given for the too frequent extended blackouts. Even as a layman they don’t add up. I know what it feels like to sit in the dark while others around me have power restored. I am demanding answers regarding hydro from my councillor and others as we all should. something stinks.