in the dark

Justified or not, I am often dismayed at the frequency of power outages in my neighborhood. We are currently experiencing the second outage within the last two weeks I believe. Not that the frequency is the issue, it’s more the timing.

These last two outages have occurred when I was just finishing something and getting ready to go to sleep. Since I work nights, that means on my days off I usually hit the sack around 3 or 4 in the morning. With no power, there’s no white noise in the bedroom. This makes it difficult or impossible for my wife to sleep which then makes it difficult or impossible for me to sleep. I can sleep through just about anything once I’m out, but if my wife isn’t already asleep that will never happen.

So, then I get to sit down and write something while I wait for Xcel Energy to fix the problem. A UPS for my cable modem and router help with that. The crews who do the repairs are always friendly and efficient (yes, I have had several chances to talk with them over the years. I’m awake at night…) but I am concerned that the power grid for the area might not be keeping up with our growth.

There are two electrical substations in Northfield. One of them is so old and outdated that I understand Xcel‘s crews are uncomfortable working on it. Perhaps these should be looked at more carefully as part of the infrastructure that is discussed with development. We hear all kinds of things about streets and sewers but little about utilities. If they are not already part of the discussion, then perhaps we should make sure Xcel and the other utilities are able to plan for and keep up with growth in the area.