Local News

Transformer problem knocks out power in Smithfield

Posted January 9, 2009

— Parts of Smithfield lost power Friday morning after a transformer exploded at a power substation on Second Street.

No one was injured, and officials said power started coming back on around 11:30 a.m.

A crew working on the transformer tried to energize it to see if it was working. The transformer then exploded and sprayed mineral oil on the workers and the substation.

The outage affected most of Smithfield, except for the western part of town.


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  • CestLaVie Jan 9, 2009

    WOW. Reading the replies on this blog has been interesting, as I did not know this stuff. And, it's good information to know.

    Since I live out in the country of JoCo, my energy is supplied by Progress Energy. I'me glad we built where we did, after reading this.

  • Deacons Jan 9, 2009

    Before buying a home anywhere other than Raleigh, ask who supplies the electricity. If it is the city or town then do not buy that house because your electric rate will be about 35% to 50% higher than if the power is supplied by Progress Energy or by an Electric Cooperative.

  • Deacons Jan 9, 2009

    Smithfield is a member of the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) which is run by ElectriCities of NC. The cities collectively own portions of Progress Energy's power plants and they get that ownership percentage of power. Anything beyond that percentage of power that they need comes from Progress Energy at INFLATED prices that the NCEMPA Board agreed to in an all requirements contract with Progress Energy because Electricities and the Board of NCEMPA are not smart enough to engage in other types of contracts such as yearly contracts and real-time power purchases on the open market. ElectiCities is run by people making a lot of money that have failed the citizens of the cities involved thereby causing their rates to constantly increase. ElectriCities should be done away with for many, many reasons. Contact them for a list of employee salaries, they have to give it to you because they are a public organization.

  • SailbadTheSinner Jan 9, 2009

    Cities that supply power are in effect supplementing their tax base with proceeds from the sales. It’s a de facto tax.

    Unfortunately, most of the electric cities do not have the resources to properly maintain and service the distribution equipment. And besides, maintenance cost money and that reduces the tax base.

    The motivation is to do nothing as long as it’s still working ....

    Unfortunately, reduced reliability is the price that the citizens of such places pay. Not to mention higher electric bills ....


  • tgw Jan 9, 2009

    Another tax from a town to people who can't afford it-what a rip. Clayton does that too.

    Thank goodness we live in Progress Energy country where rates are half or less than electro-cities.

  • andrewsnc5 Jan 9, 2009


  • phenderson12 Jan 9, 2009

    Smithfield buys it's electric from Progress Energy

  • celticsubnoize Jan 9, 2009

    from what i hear from friends who live in smithfield is that the town of smithfield buys the electricity from progress energy and then sells it to the customers...

    ...i could be wrong, but that is what i remember hearing.

  • SailbadTheSinner Jan 9, 2009

    Does anyone out there know if residents of Smithfield are supplied directly by Progress Energy (or an EMC) or if Smithfield is an ‘electric city’?

    There’s a reason for this question and, as usual, it involves money ....