Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NJ Parrots Shut Down Transformer, Causing Outage to 500

Early on the morning of May 8th, a wild parrot nest in Leonia, New Jersey caused a transformer to shut down, causing a 90-minute loss of electrical power to 500 PSE&G customers.

Repair crews quickly fixed the problem and power was restored by 4:30 AM.

PSE&G, like Con Edison, must keep an eye on the size of parrot nests, especially those located at the base of transformers, because it is possible for the nest to interfere with the operation of cooling fans located at the base of the transformer. The parrots like to build nests under this vent because the flow of warm air provides heat through the winter. Unfortunately this practice can cause the transformer to overheat when the weather gets warmer.

PSE&G, like Con Edison, has a "no kill" policy vis a vis the parrots. Offending nests will be removed, but the birds will be left alone, and alternative nest platforms can be constructed nearby in an attempt to woo the parrots away. Unfortunately, these are not heated, so the parrots cannot always be convinced to relocate.

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