Reliability

Heavy rains cause flooding, strain power supplies in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Heavy rains caused widespread flooding in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, placing further strain on run-down infrastructure and power supplies in the blockaded Palestinian territory.

Rescue services used paddle boards to evacuate residents from a dozen flooded homes. Pools formed on main roads due to the poor drainage network.

Some 1.8 million people live in the coastal enclave, which is controlled by the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Puerto Rico's crisis threatens to cut gas, power supplies

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's government and some institutions face a worsening cash crunch that threatens to cut off their access to gasoline and electricity amid the island's economic crisis, officials said Monday.

The U.S. territory reached a tentative deal late last week with Total Petroleum Puerto Rico Corp. after the company warned it would no longer supply state vehicles with gasoline because of the government's $16 million debt, said Danny Hernandez, a spokesman for the General Services Administration.

The deal is good only if the government makes a $3 million payment on Monday and another $4 million payment before month's end, he said.

Official: 10 die in S.Sudan's hospital due to fuel scarcity

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Patients, including premature babies, have died in South Sudan's main public hospital because it cannot afford fuel to run its generators, an official said Friday.

Around 10 patients died since early December because they could not be operated on without electricity, including premature babies who needed oxygen provided through electricity-powered cylinders, according to a hospital official who insisted anonymity for fear of reprisal from the government.

Patients in need of surgery are waiting in the wards, including a woman who has required an amputation for over a month. Emergency cases are now sent to a military hospital which has fuel, the official said.

New optical chips could help data centers conserve energy

Source: 
Journal Nature

A group of researchers at MIT, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Colorado have developed a new computer microchip that uses optical technology and creates the potential to make future computer data centers more energy efficient, the journal Science reports.

Power poles in Waveland, Miss. with dark clouds in the background
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Extreme weather poses increasing threat to US power grid

WAVELAND, Miss. (AP) — When Hurricane Katrina's punishing storm surge plowed ashore, it swamped seven of Coast Electric Power Association's substations, vital to powering thousands of Mississippi homes and businesses. The facilities have long since been repaired, but a decade after the storm they remain at the same elevation, and just as vulnerable to catastrophic hurricanes.

Such storms are a growing threat. An Associated Press analysis of industry data found that severe weather is the leading cause of major outages on the nation's power grid. The number of weather-related power outages has climbed over the last decade, with the greatest spikes in 2008 and 2011, according to the AP analysis and independent studies.

US power grid vulnerable to foreign hacks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university's housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyberattackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the United States power grid.

Digital clues pointed to Iranian hackers. And Wallace found that they had already taken passwords, as well as engineering drawings of dozens of power plants, at least one with the title "Mission Critical." The drawings were so detailed that experts say skilled attackers could have used them, along with other tools and malicious code, to knock out electricity flowing to millions of homes.

Power industry working on grid recovery plan

Source: 
E&E

Following GridEx III, a November exercise run by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. that simulated major power outages from cyberattacks or disasters, industry officials are working on plans to bring the grid back from catastrophic failures, E&E reports.

Ukraine resumes electricity supplies to Crimea

MOSCOW (AP) — The administration in Ukraine's Kherson region says that Ukraine has restored electricity to the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.

All electricity supplies from mainland Ukraine to Crimea were cut off on Nov. 22 when unknown attackers blew up electricity pylons leading to Crimea, leaving the region of 2 million with no power.

Parts of NW England battling floods, power outages

Source: 
BBC

Power was out Monday in some 45,000 homes in Northwest England in an area suffering from flooding in the wake of Storm Desmond, BBC News reports.

Putin opens Crimean 'energy bridge'

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has traveled to the capital of Crimea to open an electricity connection with the Russian mainland, 10 days after the peninsula lost power coming from Ukraine.

After Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, it began building an underwater electricity cable system to the peninsula from Russia's Krasnodar region.

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