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Weddings were canceled, stores broken into, restaurants lost thousand of dollars to spoiled food and thousands went without power for hours on Saturday night because of an outage on Cleveland’s West Side.

There is now finger pointing going on, and FirstEnergy (FE) has come out first to say the blame is on Cleveland Public Power (CPP).

To understand their reasoning you need to know a little about the power game.

The grid

According to Jennifer Young with FirstEnergy you have to think about the power lines all throughout the state as a grid that every power company uses to pull electricity from.

No one company owns the grid.

For years CPP has been purchasing electricity instead of producing it and it receives its electricity through First Energy’s lines.

When a transaction like this happens, it’s not like electricity is shipped to Cleveland.

CPP gets to take the power they need from the grid.

Redundancy is the name of the game

All power companies build in ways to make sure there is redundancy.

They do this with substations and lines that can cover areas in multiple ways.

Think of it like hitting a traffic jam. Instead of sitting in traffic you might take another route.

The same is true for electricity.

If there is a problem, there is almost always at least one other way to continue to grab power from the grid.

It makes the system redundant.

What happened Saturday night

On Saturday night, just after 7 p.m. there was a breaker that flipped on a FE owned substation on Clinton Avenue, according to Young.

There was slight delay on FE’s part because while they knew which substation CPP got the electricity from they had to determine if it was a problem with equipment at the substation or somewhere along the line.

It wasn’t like there was an explosion, fire or a power line down that could immediately be diagnosed as the problem.

FE had to look at the all of the equipment at the substation and determined it was a breaker.

According to Young crews were able to find it, and begin repairs by 7:50 p.m.



Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News

First Picture Courtesy of Jeremy Woodhouse and Getty Images

Second Picture Courtesy of Patrick Llewelyn-Davies and Getty Images

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