Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another electricity outage, and that power problem

We lost power last week. Apparently a car accident took out a section of line, according to our electrical company.

This is a fairly common occurrence up here. Power fails about once a month, on average, roughly. We expect it, and tend to brace for impact with weather.

This is due to a number of factors, including weather stresses (ice, wind), falling trees, and a relatively remote location. The CVPS repair crews are amazing, doing yeoman work in sometimes awful conditions.

What does this mean for us, on the homestead, looking ahead to a possible peak oil future?

On the one hand, there's a learning aspect to it. Each blackout is teachable moment. We try to see these outages as glimpses of more serious problems, down the line. If we will see power crises due to various infrastructure problems, maybe these monthly outs are dry runs. Think of rolling blackouts, or regular power cuts.

On the other hand, there's simply frustration. We all hate being offline. Being in the dark is ok, since we can make do with candles (and here we return to thinking about bees). Most of the year there isn't a problem with refrigeration. It's the lack of digital connectivity that hurts.

We don't have a good solution to this problem. Generators, wind, solar, hydro - that's the subject of another post.

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