I have a love/hate relationship with New Orleans. I lived there for almost 9 years, and loved it, but we moved to get away from it.
I hope I’m interested enough in New Orleans to pay attention longer than others, experienced enough to know that you have to be that way, and yet still as neutral as can be reasonably hoped.
In short: I’m not surprised by this little tidbit of news about the blackout at the Super Bowl.
Entergy told New Orleans City Council members that the company still doesn’t know why the device triggered …
But the relay’s manufacturer, Chicago-based S&C Electric Co., says it believes it knows why the problem happened: The relay, it says, wasn’t operated at the proper setting.
System operators essentially put the relay’s trip setting too low, S&C vice president Michael Edmonds wrote to CNN in an e-mail. The electrical load exceeded the trip setting, so the relay triggered, he said.
“Based on the onsite testing, we have determined that if higher settings had been applied, the equipment would not have disconnected the power,” Edmonds wrote. …
Asked whether Entergy agrees with S&C’s characterization of the problem, Entergy spokesman Mike Burns responded:
“Tests conducted by S&C and Entergy on the two relays installed at the Superdome shows that one relay functioned as expected and the other relay did not.
Let me read between the lines for you.
The local(ish) company responsible, Entergy, told the local poo-bahs that it’s not responsible. It’s the fault of the bad guys from out of town. You know … like FEMA.
The manufacturers (wearing black hats because they’re from out of town) note that the relay failed because a human set it at too low a level.
Both the local utility and the out-of-state manufacturer agree that “one relay functioned as expected and the other relay did not”.
Let’s parse that one. This is like saying you couldn’t make it to work because you’re car didn’t start; the beauty of that excuse is that it doesn’t say that you tried to start your car. In the same sense, Entergy’s excuse is completely consistent with the manufacturer’s explanation: that a human made a setting on one device that was too low, and a different one on another device that was OK.
In short, New Orleans screwed up its Super Bowl because New Orleans is a place where things get screwed up.