National Grid
News Releases
NATIONAL GRID ASKS CUSTOMERS IN WESTERLY TO CONSERVE ENERGY
NATIONAL GRID ASKS CUSTOMERS IN WESTERLY TO CONSERVE ENERGY

As National Grid continues to repair the extensive damage to southern Rhode Island’s electricity system caused by this spring’s devastating floods, today’s excessively high temperatures have caused parts of the system in southern Westerly and in the shoreline area of that community to become overloaded.

In order to prevent catastrophic damage to the system in that area, National Grid was forced to interrupt service to customers in those sections of the community, affecting a total of about 1,600 customers. A block of about 600 customers and a second block of about 1000 customers will alternate service interruptions of approximately two hours over the next 24 hours. National Grid is working around the clock to make emergency enhancements to its facilities so it can end the service interruptions.

In the meantime, the company is asking all of its customers in Westerly to conserve electricity to help minimize the need for service interruptions and to help prevent overloading on other lines within the community. Steps that residential customers can take are:

·Set air conditioners at higher temperatures.

·Close shades and blinds to keep homes cooler.

·Limit use of major appliances such as electric stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryers.

·Turn off unnecessary lights.

The company already has asked large customers, including industries, to restrict unnecessary electricity consumption.

“We are actively working to address this situation and eliminate the need for these interruptions, said David Fredericks, National Grid’s vice president of Operations for southern New England. “In the meantime, we ask your cooperation in conserving as much electricity as possible. By conserving energy, you can help us minimize these outages. We apologize for this inconvenience and are doing all we can to address this situation.”

On March 30, Rhode Island was inundated with nine inches of rain that caused historic flooding, sending multiple rivers to or near record flood stage, forcing the closing of Interstate 95, decimating many neighborhoods and submerging entire sections of the electricity system.

The Westerly substation was under as much as eight feet of water from the floods and was one of the hardest-hit facilities in the Rhode Island electric system. In total, eight substations were flooded, more than 50,000 electricity customers were affected, and damage to National Grid facilities soared to more than $10 million.

Since the waters receded, National Grid has been working ceaselessly to restore the system, but a considerable amount of repairs are still in the works, including at the Westerly substation and in the Westerly system. With temperatures approaching 100 degrees yesterday and today, the local system in its compromised state simply cannot handle the demand being placed upon it. National Grid is in the process of making temporary emergency repairs to give the system the capacity it needs to get through this hot spell and until permanent repairs can be made. According to Fredericks, these repairs are expected to take about 24 hours to complete.

“We will work around the clock to resolve this problem,” Fredericks said. “We know this is a hardship for our customers and we promise to make these repairs as quickly as we possibly can.”

The Westerly substation was under as much as eight feet of water from the floods and was one of the hardest-hit facilities in the Rhode Island electric system. In total, eight substations were flooded, more than 50,000 electricity customers were affected, and damage to National Grid facilities soared to more than $10 million.

Since the waters receded, National Grid has been working ceaselessly to restore the system, but a considerable amount of repairs are still in the works, including at the Westerly substation and in the Westerly system. With temperatures approaching 100 degrees yesterday and today, the local system in its compromised state simply cannot handle the demand being placed upon it. National Grid is in the process of making temporary emergency repairs to give the system additional capacity until permanent repairs can be made. According to Fredericks, these repairs are expected to take about 24 hours to complete.

“We will work around the clock to try to resolve this problem,” Fredericks said. “We know this is a hardship for our customers and we promise to make these repairs as quickly as we possibly can.”

National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.