Well, finally a transformer on the line serving downtown overloaded and went on fire due to being loaded to 100% capacity and not serviced. BZZZZ-pft.... Blackout took exactly as long as the repair to swap in a new transformer, because there's only one path to downtown T.O.., the largest, most concentrated electric load in Canada. Sheer fracking genius. Thank you David Suzuki et al.
The transmission system serving downtown Toronto is operated at its limit, with no capacity to spare. As a direct result, maintenance schedules are squeezed or eliminated, a factor that may well have played a role in initiating the event. The ability of grid operators to transfer load from one transmission path to another in the event of failures is severely limited, a factor that directly determined the scale and duration of the blackout. The large number of customers blacked out and the duration of blackout was a function of the system's flawed design.
Environmentalists, including the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, the David Suzuki Foundation, World Wildlife Foundation Canada, Peter Tabuns of the Ontario NDP and Toronto Councillor Paula Fletcher, have played leading roles in blocking the development of another transmission line into the city's core.
Many environmental organizations, working with the Ontario government's Trillium Foundation (which distributes the government's gambling profits), the Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and others formed an umbrella group in 2007 called Transforming Toronto. The new group was developed specifically to oppose a new high-voltage transmission line into Toronto. In Ontario's highly politicized electricity policy environment, affected electric utilities and agencies have not challenged Transforming Toronto's fluffy assertions that transmission reinforcement is not needed.
I suggest a trip to Princess Auto or Canadian Tire, to pick up a gas powered generator big enough to run your fridge and your window air conditioner. Going to be a mighty loooong summer otherwise, eh? I have a rather nice one with remote start, just push the little key-fob thingie and vroooom, my freezer is safe and my sump pump will still push water out of the basement. Princess Auto, $600 rasbucknicks.
Best part, it will -really- piss off all those tofu eating Greenies when a blackout comes and all they hear is a half a million gas generators start up.