Posted August 26, 2003 11:35 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — When people need to light a room, they flick the switch and just expect the lights to turn on. When the lights do not come on, there is a need to know why.
Power Companies are having a hard time explaining what happened up North a week and a half ago, when the the lights went out in seven states.
The investigation is focused on Ohio. But it is not clear yet what tripped the lines.
The outage, and how quickly it spread, raised questions everywhere about the power grids. WRAL got a rare glimpse Monday inside Progress Energy's power central and how it is designed to keep your lights on.
Jeff Lyash\2 ; :19-:29 #Progress Energy
#Randy Wilkinson\2 ;:35-:47 #Progress Energy
At first glance, the walls in the control center look like one huge video game. But there is no playing around when it comes to power.
The Energy Control Center tracks six million miles of transmission line and more than a million customers. Progress Energy said its power grid can prevent the meltdown that occurred in the Northeast.
"Provisions that help you address any sort of - provisions that help someone address any HELP YOU ADDRESS ANY SORT OF PROBLEM YOU HAVE IN THE SYSTEM WHETHER IT'S CAUSED BY EQUIPMENT FAILURE OR CAUSED BY SOME INTENTIONAL ACT ON THE PART OF AN INDIVIDUAL""
If there is a problem here, fewer people are affected because our power grids are smaller. 01:01:18 ""WE'RE NOT TRANSPORTING ENERGY VERY FAR.. 30, 40, 50 MILES AT MAX AS OPPOSED TO OTHER UTILITIES SOMETIMES ARE MOVING ENERGY ACROSS THEIR SYSTEMS LONG DISTANCES SOMETIMES HUNDREDS OF MILES""
For example.. the Raleigh area draws power from three places.. a plant in Person County.. Shearon Harris and a plant in Lee County. If there's a shutdown in one spot, another plant can pick up the slack to keep your power on. Fred Taylor WRAL news Raleigh.
Progress Energy also makes sure it has plenty of electricity reserves on line.