Big Surprise? California Leads the Way in Blackouts - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Big Surprise? California Leads the Way in Blackouts

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In this day and age, a power outage can leave a home, company or region at a stand-still. California residents definitely saw their share of power outages in 2012.

In fact, California had the most reported power outages in the nation last year, according to Eaton Corporation's 2012 Blackout Tracker Report.

The data is based on reported power outages across the United States and is organized into two sections: an overview of national power outage data and power outage data by state. 

The Blackout Tracker evaluated a full year of data with 2,808 reported outages affecting more than 25 million people across the country in 2012. The report includes statistics that illustrate the importance of reliable backup power and features "top" outage lists, including the most significant reported outages, as well as data center outages. 

Want to know the most unusual outages of 2012? The report also shows which state saw a power outage caused by a copperhead, a turkey and even the Endeavor space shuttle.

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Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton today announced the release of its Blackout Tracker Annual Report for 2012. For the fourth year in a row, California topped the list of states with the most power outages in 2012, followed by New York and Texas. On average, 13,442 people were affected for 154 minutes per outage in 2012 and power failures caused problems for people and businesses in all 50 states.

"The first step in mitigating the risk of unexpected downtime is to understand the causes and likelihood of utility power outages," said Mike DeCamp, senior marketing communications manager, Eaton Power Quality Division. "The data in the Blackout Tracker report underscores the importance of a comprehensive power protection plan, which can be designed by a power professional to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes."

The data is based on a full year of reported power outages across the United States and is organized into two sections: an overview of national power outage data and power outage data by state. Overall, 2,808 reported outages were used as the basis for the 2012 report, representing a decrease of about nine percent from the 3,071 outages reported in 2011. The amount of people affected by outages also decreased from 41.8 million in 2011 to 25 million in 2012.

However, analysis of Blackout Tracker data confirms a generally upward trend with the following results for number of reported outages affecting 50,000 or more people:

  • 42 outages in 2009
  • 52 outages in 2010
  • 109 outages in 2011
  • 65 outages in 2012

The report also includes statistics that illustrate the importance of reliable backup power and features "top" outage lists, including the most significant reported outages, largest data center outages and the most unusual causes for outages.

Although power failures are common, uninterruptible power systems (UPSs) and generators are designed to reliably deliver power during outages.

Among the most unusual causes of power outages in 2012:

·         Los Angeles, Calif.: On October 12, a planned outage was necessary so the space shuttle Endeavor could travel through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center

·         Gadsden, Ala.: On May 16, a 6-foot copperhead snake slithered into equipment and caused major transmission issues, cutting power to 6,700 people and affecting numerous substations.

·         Sonoma County, Calif.: On April 8, a wild turkey flew into power lines and knocked out an emergency 911 dispatch system. The bird also crippled operations at the county courthouse and jail until the following day.

Eaton has tracked power outage information since February 16, 2008 in an effort to educate consumers on the causes and potential impact of outages. A power outage is just one of nine common power problems that affect power quality and availability. Eaton's robust portfolio of data center products that store, cool, power, manage and secure mission-critical data center technology includes UPSs, power distribution products, data center services, Power Xpert® power management software, IT rack systems and data center air containment solutions, as well as medium and low voltage switchgear.

Data for the annual report is based on reports from news services, newspapers, websites (including those of newspapers and TV stations) and personal accounts. To download the entire annual report and track power outages across the U.S., please visit www.eaton.com/blackouttracker. To learn about Eaton's line of power quality products and services, visit www.powerquality.eaton.com.

Eaton is a diversified power management company providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. With 2012 sales of $16.3 billion, Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical products, systems and services for power quality, distribution and control, power transmission, lighting and wiring products; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton acquired Cooper Industries plc in 2012. Eaton has approximately 103,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

 

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