ConEd Finishes Lower Manhattan Power Restoration

Con Edison last Wednesday announced the restoration of electrical service to its Cortlandt network in the early morning hours, returning service to all networks in lower Manhattan that lost power because of the recent terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. The company urged customers whose power has been restored to minimize the use of electricity while work continues in the area.

The Cortlandt network, which serves approximately 1,800 customers, is bounded by Barclay Street to the north, Broadway to the east, West Street to the west, and down to the southern tip of Manhattan. Last Tuesday, the company began restoring electric service to Battery Park City.

While all networks affected by the attack are energized, individual buildings may be without power until the company can gain access to them to turn on electrical connections. For safety reasons, access to some areas where electric service has been restored may still be restricted and customers should contact local authorities before attempting to return to their homes or businesses, the utility noted.

More than 1,900 Con Edison workers have labored around the clock to restore power in lower Manhattan and thousands more have worked behind the scenes. More than 33 miles of high-voltage cable were laid around the damage zone, on the streets and in trenches dug to shield the wires.

The company cut and isolated damaged electrical cables buried beneath debris-clogged streets. Transmission lines from the two substations that were destroyed by the collapse of a building in the World Trade Center complex were cut and isolated from the transmission system.

Temporary generators are providing power to some buildings. In some cases, the generator cannot handle the entire building load, so building personnel have disconnected electrical service to some of their tenants. Con Edison emphasized the point that customers should not to attempt to hook up their own generator.

Con Edison, in a recent filing made at the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the destroyed or severely damaged buildings accounted for an electric peak of approximately 140 MW, which was about 1.1% of the utility's peak delivery load this past summer. The company said annual net after-tax revenues for electric, gas and steam services for these buildings came close to $15 million. Con Edison said some of this energy is expected to be transferred to other parts of the city, as displaced tenants begin operations in other areas.

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