By Sabina Mollot
As of Wednesday morning, work was still ongoing by Con Ed near Stuyvesant Town that began on Monday in an effort to prevent power outages.
The repairs, which are being conducted on shunts or cables temporarily located above ground on East 14th Street near the Con Ed plant and a new transformer on East 17th Street is expected to be finished by the end of the week, Chris Olert, a spokesperson for the utility said. Eventually, the cables will go underground with ducts that pull the cables from manhole to manhole.
In the meantime, as the company first requested on Monday evening, Stuyvesant Town residents are still being asked to conserve energy by not using non-essential appliances. Electronics like air conditioners, washers and dryers and microwaves should be used “wisely,” said Olert. Fridges and freezers should be kept closed and not opened too frequently.
On Tuesday night, two Stuyvesant Town buildings, 277 and 309 Avenue C and one garage at 279 Avenue C had power outages due to the work. The boilers were also out of service, which meant residents were without hot water. However, that was short-lived, said Olert, since a generator has since been put in place for reliability. “That’s over,” he said. “It’s as normal as it can be, but there may be other calls by people (about outages) as we do more repairs.”
As the repairs have been underway, Con Ed has been working with CWCapital and the ST-PCV Tenants Association to keep tenants posted on the project’s status via email.
On Monday evening, Tenants Association leaders asked how the work might affect Peter Cooper Village and were told that while PCV was not primarily affected, buildings on Avenue C could be so tenants there should conserve.
On Wednesday, TA Chair Susan Steinberg said she appreciated that Con Ed was “clearly being proactive in its attempts to avert a power outage in Stuyvesant Town.
“As soon as they realized the impact of the failed transformer on the grid serving Stuyvesant Town, they moved in two emergency generators along or near Avenue C, the area of greatest vulnerability,” she said. “Although both of these generators may not be needed, they wanted them installed and ready to go should the electrical loads overwhelm the grid while they make their repairs.”
Steinberg added, “Extreme heat is probably our area’s new norm and individual residents need to take responsibility for cutting their energy usage. Individuals can make sure that they don’t run the AC during the day when apartments are unoccupied for the luxury of coming home to coolness, and can cut back on using televisions, radios and computers.”