Is difficult to say something like this blog’s title but evidence is just overwhelming.
During hurricane Irma our neighborhood was left in the dark for almost a week, I don’t live in a rural area so one day and out of boredom I rode my bike along the distribution line that feeds into our subdivision. I found two instances of overgrown trees over the 13 KV feeder and in one of those I decided to take a picture, the picture above.
A simple picture of trees over our feeder but then it hit me. THIS, is exactly the problem right here!
For the 13KV feeder to the left (with the trees over it) its maintenance is UNREGULATED by the government and the 230KV line to the right is strictly REGULATED.
NERC’s designated regional reliability organization (RRO) may impose up to a $1,000,000 penalty if a tree comes in contact with the line on the right. The trees coming in contact with the feeder have no financial consequences other than a regular guy taking pictures and writing a blog entry complaining ’cause he’s got no service.
The reliability organizations were created and granted enforcing powers to avoid the problems caused by blackouts; disruptions in society cannot differentiate between outages happening by events in the bulk generation, bulk transmission or distribution level.
An outage is an outage regardless what causes it.