A lot of media attention focused on the heroics of the fire and rescue crews searching through the rubble at the WTC attack site—and for good reason. But at the same time, the local electric utility, Con Edison, should be commended, as it marshaled some 850 workers to restore electric service to nearly all of its 12,000 commercial and residential customers in the area within eight days. To accomplish this task, the utility cut and isolated the distribution circuits around the WTC and a pair of destroyed substations as well as strung almost 36 miles of cable for temporary use on the streets.

According to Con Edison, it will replace the “36 miles of extension cords” with 100 miles of 5-in duct by April 2002 to encase medium-voltage, oil-filled power cables, and other types of circuits to serve the first of the two destroyed substations. Con Edison expects to rebuild the second substation in time for the peak summer power demand of 2003.

Representatives of three major area electrical contractors, including Fischbach & Moore Electric, Inc., Forest Electric Corp., and E-J Electric Installation Co., sit on the energy subcommittee of the New York Building Congress. The NYC Rebuild Task Force has specifically asked this subcommittee to review the impacts of NYC’s energy needs as a result of the WTC attack. Members of this team will review system capability, reliability, and redundancy as well as the system’s ability to meet immediate and future peak energy demands.