Power Protection a Must in New Mexico Outage

February 03, 2017

By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer

An aging power grid means trouble for all concerned, and in the United States, that rapidly aging power grid is proving to bring increasing problems with it. Recently, we saw proof of exactly that happen with several substations going down in New Mexico, showing us how important it is to have power protection systems.

The outage started at about 1:30 in the morning, reports noted, hitting the northwest side of Albuquerque the hardest. That wasn't where it stopped, though, as the outage subsequently hit throughout the city, impacting five substations before spreading into Santa Fe, where two substations were hit.

The result was about 20 percent of PNM's customer base—roughly 144,000 customers—lost power for several hours. Power was expected to be back on by five that morning. The cause of the outage was still under investigation, reports noted, though updates were likely to follow. A look at PNM's interactive outage map, meanwhile, suggested that outages were comparatively limited in scope as of this writing, with about three people currently without power.

In the end, the investigation's results will likely turn up one of several familiar causes: an animal in a transformer, a simple mechanical failure, or any of a dozen other possibilities. What really matters here is our response to this issue, and how we engage in power protection methods suitable to keep us operating even through such a disaster. While many of us think of bandwidth first when it comes to keeping a business running, we must first think of power, and how to keep it going even when the grid can't, or won't. That's why power protection is so vital; whether it's the simple uninterruptable power supply that offers just enough to save work and shut down safely or the full generator that lets power continue, power protection measures are a sane, sensible precaution in an environment where too many things could go wrong with something that we simply can't afford to work without. We need power almost as much as we need online bandwidth, and having those protection measures in place is what separates a completely lost business day from one moderately inconvenienced.

It was once said that the time to think about a generator is when the lights are still on. That's the same case for power protection, so before encountering another Albuquerque or Santa Fe, consider how you'll keep the lights on when the grid goes down.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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