Monday, February 4, 2013

Why the lights went out at the Super Bowl

Posted By on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 6:31 AM

THE LIGHTS WENT OUT: The Superdome, shown in full power, from a website touting its energy efficiency.

In case you wondered if Arkansas's major power company, Entergy, had culpability in the 34-minute power outage at New Orleans' Superdome during the Super Bowl last night, the Times-Picayune has the most extensive report I've found. Entergy took pains to instantly post on Twitter last night that the problem was on the customer's side.

The subsequent explanation is a little more ambiguous.

Entergy and SMG, the management company of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, issued a statement late Sunday explaining the power loss:

"Shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue.

"Backup generators kicked in immediately as designed. Entergy and SMG subsequently coordinated start up procedures, ensuring that full power was safely restored to the Superdome.

"The fault-sensing equipment activated where the Superdome equipment intersects with Entergy’s feed into the facility.

"There were no additional issues detected.

"Entergy and SMG will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality."

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