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Decoding the New York Power Outage

Aug 18, 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias caused a near-historic amount of power outages in the greater NYC area. The utility said late Tuesday that the storm's rampage through the region thrust trees and branches onto power lines, bringing down equipment that left 257,000 customers without power.

Reports came in that customers in western Queens were asked to curb their energy consumption and limit the use of appliances like air conditioners, washers, dryers and microwaves, while company crews repaired equipment. NYC Mayor de Blasio has now warned Brooklyn residents they could be hit by widespread power outages during sweltering heat wave – not just Storm Isaias.

The mere threat of a power outage in the coronavirus era seems particularly brutal with record numbers of residents working from home. With round-the-clock energy use at historic levels in some households, even worries about brownouts and localized outages loom large.

It can be quite scary when blackouts happen. Whether you believe in climate change or not, weather-related crises seem to be occurring more frequently around the globe, so having a home energy solution that provides true energy security is ideal.

Impact of Power Outage in New York City During Covid-19

Today, in the era of Covid-19 with millions of people working from home, the mere threat of a power outage seems particularly brutal. Families are unable to find food when everything in their refrigerator spoils. Families with young children can’t use fans to keep cool in the oppressive heat. Those with diabetes need to keep their insulin refrigerated. And these are just a few of the real-life problems people face with prolonged outages.

If you’ve been affected by this outage, you know how hard it’s been — and you may be among those asking: how can I protect myself from a blackout?

In the event of a grid failure, like the blackouts this week, safety regulations require that solar power systems shut down to prevent sending power back into the offline grid. So, what’s the answer? Solar power that is compatible with backup battery storage.

Blackout-Proof Solar

To provide homeowners with true grid independence, we have developed Enphase Ensemble™ energy management technology. This breakthrough new technology will enable home solar systems to stay up and running during a blackout by safely disconnecting the home from the grid in the event of a grid failure, and instantly switching to solar and/or battery power.

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