NORWALK, Conn. – The Third Taxing District has lost power four times since a new substation went into operation in December, sending a jolt to East Norwalk customers accustomed to impeccable reliability.
TTD will be seeking damages from the manufacturer of its new power substation, TTD General Manager Jim Smith said Wednesday. One of the power outages was due to an errant squirrel, but others were because of transitional issues and a faulty piece of equipment, he said.
The Fitch Street Substation was completed in less than 33 months, within the $7 million budget, a December press release said.
Smith said in the release that residents should not notice any changes, “other than the fact that our service should even be more reliable due to the fact that we are now taking power directly off the transmission system, as opposed to two underground CL&P feeders.”
“(The substation) is supposed to be a wonderful new addition, but it seems like they have had more power outages during the transition and since it was up and running (and they weren’t going to lose power unless the entire grid was down) than they had in the 5 years before they added the substation,” a NancyOnNorwalk reader said in an email.
“Two of the outages were out of our control, but the other two were transitional issues that we should have caught,” Smith said Wednesday. “… You’re going to have glitches. I can chalk those up to transition, but the last two should not have been as wide spread as they were.”
There have been no outages in the past two snow storms, he said. “I consider it an anomaly,” he said of the problems.
The faulty equipment is under warranty, he said, but “We will pursue damages against the manufacturer.”
The squirrel outage lasted 20 minutes, he said. Squirrel guards are going to be installed as a result, he said.
“It’s just the nature of the business; sometimes it happens,” he said. “Utilities around the country will all tell you the same thing. You can put in as many protections as possible – animals have a way to get in. They will figure out a way to get in if they want to.”
He can’t promise that’s the end of it, he said.
“We don’t anticipate this happening again, but there’s no guarantee,” he said. “Things can happen.”