News

Ocracoke on generator power update

Splicing the cable

The following is from a report in http://www.islandfreepress.org:

While Ocracoke has been running on generator power the last three days, the balmy weather has been favorable for the work the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative has been doing to move the main power cable from its present location to another site farther west.

The use of generator power is part of CHEC’s project to move its transmission lines on northern Hatteras Island to prepare for the construction of the replacement of the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet. To do that, three main power lines must be severed and spliced back together.

Cutting the transmission cables, relocating them, and then splicing them back together is a project that must be completed before contractors for the North Carolina Department of Transportation can begin construction of the replacement for the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet, which is scheduled for March.

But colder weather descended Friday, continuing into weekend, and may test the generators limits.

During the power outage, all of Hatteras and Ocracoke are running on generators, with a maximum load capacity of 24 megawatts.  According to CHEC, the load with Friday’s mild temperatures continued to run at about 10 megawatts–the same as it has been the past two days.

However, CHEC managers expect to see the load rising with Friday’s colder temperatures.  They will be watching the load closely and are urging all members to keep their thermostats turned down, along with other conservation measures.

Running the islands on generator power is extremely weather-dependent. The biggest users of power on the island are heating and air-conditioning units and water heaters. Therefore, CHEC managers are really not concerned so much with how many Christmas lights you have, but how much heat you use.

CONSERVING POWER

Here are the tips that CHEC is offering for conserving power during the seven days that the island will be on generators–especially this weekend.

  • Lower the thermostat: If you have your heat on, consider lowering the temperature by as much as 10 degrees. CHEC recommends a setting of 68 or lower.
  • Consider cold water settings when washing laundry
  • Turn off the pre-rinse and heat-dry settings on the dishwasher
  • Take advantage of blinds and curtains. Open them during the day, especially those windows that face south. Let the sun warm the house. Close curtains at night to help insulate.
  • Keep ceiling fans off.
  • Unplug chargers for phones and tablets, small appliances, all of which draw power when not in use
  • Please do not use electric space heaters.

Hatteras and Ocracoke islanders can follow the progress of the project and monitor the power usage in real time by following CHEC on Facebook and Twitter.

Read the full report on www.islandfreepress.