Con Ed: Preliminary investigation reveals failure of backup system caused blackout

David Caplan
July 15, 2019 - 5:01 pm
NYC blackout AP

AP Photo/Michael Owens


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- In its preliminary review of this past weekend's blackout -- that left parts of midtown Manhattam and the west side in the dark Saturday night -- Con Ed blames faulty equipment. 

"Our inspection of equipment and preliminary review of system data over the past 40 hours indicates that the relay protection system at our West 65th Street substation did not operate as designed," Con Ed said. "That system detects electrical faults and directs circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize those faults."

Con Ed further explained, "The relay protection system is designed with redundancies to provide high levels of reliability. In this case, primary and backup relay systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West 64th Street and West End Avenue."

The system's failure "ultimately resulted in isolation of the fault at the West 49th Street transmission substation, and the subsequent loss of several electrical networks, starting at 6:47 p.m.," Con Ed said. 

Con Ed said it will continue to investigate the blackout, and "will provide more insight into why the system, and its multiple redundancies, did not operate as designed."