Why Guzzling 12,063 Megawatts Dimmed the Big City – The New York Times

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It’s Tuesday.

Weather: Showers are expected before noon. The high may be in the mid-70s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Aug. 11.

CreditYana Paskova for The New York Times

As New York City was overcome by hot temperatures last weekend, thousands of people in Brooklyn lost power on Sunday because Con Edison’s equipment could not handle the demand for electricity.

This came about a week after a blackout on the West Side of Manhattan and in Midtown left thousands of people, and Broadway shows, without electricity for hours.

“The service is very reliable, one of the most reliable in the country,” a spokesman for Con Edison, Allan Drury, said yesterday afternoon.

Catch me up: How many people lost power?

Fifty thousand customers lost electricity on Sunday, many of them in Brooklyn, where Con Edison purposely shut off some power to relieve stress on the grid. Adding to the misery, thunderstorms brought heavy rain that flooded many city streets yesterday night.

The utility said on its website that as of late Monday, “more than 99 percent of the 33,000 Brooklyn customers that we took out of service last night have been restored.” Early on Tuesday, its figures indicated that more than 6,000 remained without power across the city.

Here is a map that shows where the power is still out.

[Read more about the heat wave and power failures.]

Why did the power go out?

Equipment “was under great stress” from “heat and demand,” Mr. Drury said.

Because of the heat wave, a lot of people turned up their air-conditioners. That added stress to Con Edison’s equipment; so did the weather, according to experts.

Extreme heat is bad for people and pets. It is also bad for wires, cables, transformers and other equipment that Con Edison relies on to deliver electricity, according to the company.

If the utility had not turned off the power, the equipment could have been damaged and power “would have been out longer,” Mr. Drury said.

It is almost like when a car overheats. Do you keep driving in the hopes you arrive at your destination? Or do you pull over and turn off the car?

How hard is it to deliver enough power?

On weekdays, the demand for electricity is concentrated in business districts. Con Edison is able to send a lot of electricity there: on weekdays, more than 13,000 megawatts, Mr. Drury said.

On weekends, most people are at home, in different neighborhoods. In New York City, the record for weekend demand for electricity had been 11,855 megawatts, Mr. Drury said.

On Sunday, he said, “we blew past that.” The peak was 12,063 megawatts.

Why can’t Con Edison simply deliver more power?

Con Edison is a private company, but state regulators control its ability to increase rates on customers. Upgrades cost money.

Also, it can be hard to persuade people to spend money on things they cannot see. For years, “the city has focused too much on what the private sector builds above ground,” said Nicole Gelinas, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a think tank where she focuses on New York City finances and infrastructure.

“These are very superficial signs of success,” she said, adding that residents need to pay attention to “the very dirty, difficult stuff that is happening underground.”

I heard about New York’s plans to ban plastic bags and use congestion pricing. Are they related to our energy challenges?

Yes. Scientists say reducing our carbon footprint can help offset the effects of extreme weather. But Con Edison’s infrastructure “is in need of investments and upgrades while the policies come online,” said Robert Freudenberg, a vice president for energy and environment at the Regional Planning Association, a research group.

How much would upgrades cost?

Mr. Drury referred to figures announced in January when Con Edison sought rate increases. The proposal would add “$485 million to run the company’s electric delivery system in 2020 and $210 million for the natural gas delivery system,” the utility said in a statement at the time.

What did Mr. Drury mean when he called Con Edison “very reliable”?

He was referring to a 2017 announcement that the company had won a ReliabilityOne Award for outstanding reliability performance in the Northeast. The awards go to utilities “achieving outstanding reliability performance in delivering the most reliable electric service to their customers,” Con Edison’s website says.


CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

With charter schools facing perhaps the worst political backlash of their two-decade history, what lies ahead for some of the highest-performing institutions? How are New York City’s charter schools changing how they approach race, discipline and students with disabilities in response to mounting criticism from inside their schools and Democratic presidential candidates?

The Times will host a conference call on Thursday at 11 a.m. discussing the big challenges of the new school year and how we cover education. It will feature Eliza Shapiro, an education reporter, and Dodai Stewart, a deputy editor on the Metro desk.

R.S.V.P. for the free event here, and read Ms. Shapiro’s latest article on charter schools here.


CreditElizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times

She went to court to save her 3-year-old daughter. Days later, the child was dead.

Governor Cuomo says progressives have it all wrong: “I am the left.

“Anna Delvey” might not profit from a Netflix series on her life as a fake heiress.

How much is a view worth in Manhattan? Try $11 million.

New York State banned cat declawing.

[Want more news from New York and around the region? Check out our full coverage.]

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

A mother in the Bronx accused of attacking her children was charged with attempted murder. [Pix 11]

Video shows police officers in Brooklyn being doused with water. [New York Post]

The new leader of the Louis Armstrong House Museum has resigned. [Wall Street Journal]

Kick off the six-day Dominican Film Festival with a screening of “Lo Que Siento Por Ti” at United Palace in Manhattan. 8 p.m. [$30]

Groove to forró music. An orchestra led by the composer Rafael Piccolotto de Lima performs as part of Brasil Summerfest at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. 6 p.m. [Free]

Celebrate Jennifer Lopez’s 50th year with comedy, drag and dancing at Caveat in Manhattan. 9:30 p.m. [$20]

— Melissa Guerrero

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.


CreditMark Perosi

Here comes the bride. And the Donald.

President Trump surprised a couple from Staten Island during their “Make America Great Again”-themed wedding reception at his New Jersey golf course on Saturday.

“We sent him invitations and save-the-dates,” the bride, Nicole Perosi, said in an interview. “We were hoping he was going to come, but we had no idea.”

Mr. Trump first visited the couple in their bridal suite at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. Then, at their urging, he greeted guests at the reception.

Video posted online shows the president waving to guests. In another video, he talks with the couple as guests are heard chanting “U.S.A!”

“We were all in shock, in a good way,” Ms. Perosi said.

The couple said they delayed their honeymoon because of the attention from Mr. Trump’s visit. The groom, PJ Mongelli, said, “We postponed due to this madness, this beautifulness.”

Mr. Mongelli recounted what happened:

“It was just such a beautiful moment, you know? Shook our hands. He gave my wife a hug, told her she looked beautiful. He was a gentleman. He told me, ‘Wow, look at those shoulders.’ Told me I was handsome.”

Mr. Mongelli went on to say:

“If Billy Joel were to have come to my wedding, that would have been amazing. Billy Joel is my No. 1. But President Trump, having it at Trump National, and that’s something that, we’re very passionate people, my wife and I. And I said, to have the president of the United States, that’s monumental, you understand? People will never forget that.”

The couple were childhood friends and became engaged about a year and a half ago, Mr. Mongelli said. He proposed to Ms. Perosi at the golf club.

Mr. Mongelli added that if he could have said one more thing to Mr. Trump, it would have been, “Maybe next time we could be guests at one of your events.”

It’s Tuesday — invite all the celebrities you want to your party.


Dear Diary:

In summer 1976, I was a young Coast Guardsman attending school on Governors Island. The session lasted 11 weeks.

At the time, there was a special ferry that ran between the island and a spot on the Battery near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. A group of us took it to Manhattan one night, and then went up to Times Square.

We lost track of time, and returned to the Battery around 1 a.m. to discover that we had missed the last ferry back.

As we sat there wondering how much trouble we were in, a small harbor tug nosed up to the pier. A window on the wheelhouse opened, and a man poked his grizzled face out.

“You guys need a ride to the island?” he asked.

“Yes!” we shouted in unison.

We climbed over the bow onto the tug and set off on a quick late-night voyage, the lights of the city shining in every direction.

— Frederick Gilbert

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