» A big country that’s hard to keep wired: Even before the power outage that turned off the lights off in half of India, the country had power and capacity problems, leading Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to push for $400 billion in capacity improvements over the next five years. Another issue at play? High demand. The way that states pay for electricity in India is that they buy energy a day before, and are penalized if they use more than allotted — and some of the states affected by the power outages had excessive draw downs, which led to the power outages.
» That’s half the country: Another huge chunk of India’s 1.2 billion people are working without power today after grids in more than a dozen states broke down. ”This is the second day that something like this has happened. I’ve given instructions that whoever overdraws power will be punished,” said Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is trying to restore essential services such as mass transit.
» Bigger than the entire U.S. and Canada population, combined: Northern India’s power grid apparently couldn’t handle all the people on it, so down it went early Monday morning. While roughly 60 percent of power has been restored, fans and air conditioners stopped working in 90-degree heat, and the city of New Delhi basically went dark. On the other hand, the annoyance wasn’t one that Indian residents had never experienced before — the country has fairly regular power outages, and backup generators are a way of life for hospitals and businesses.
» Strong, windy and quick: As anyone in the Mid-Atlantic region will tell you, the storm that slammed the region last night was there and gone within an hour — but for a good half an hour or so, it was heavy. The style of storm even has a proper name — the derecho. Or as National Weather Service meteorologist Bryan Jackson put it: ”It’s one of those storms. It just plows through.” And yes, this storm is what took down Netflix and Instagram.
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We have more than half our system down. This is definitely going to be a multi-day outage.Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel • Discussing the major power outage in the Washington DC metro region, which turned off the lights for more than 2 million people last night. (Including us. Thank God for tethering. — ed) The power outage came after a short-but-powerful storm in the wake of a record heat wave on Friday — the temperature hit 104.
» A missed deadline: More than a week after an early-season snowstorm crippled the Northeast, some parts of Connecticut — still — don’t have power. While officials for Connecticut Light and Power planned to have 99 percent of all Connecticut residents’ power on by now, the company admitted defeat Sunday night. ”We have missed our goal, and for that I apologize to everyone,” said Jeffrey Butler, the company’s president. “We have not met our expectations and those we set for all of you.” Butler blamed two strong storms in a two month period — Hurricane Irene and the snowstorm — for the trouble.