I just finished reading Mr. Burr`s comments concerning reliability (“It`s reliability stupid!”, EL&P, August 1999).
To Mr. Burr, I must say “Hooray!!” I applaud your willingness to say what many employees of electric utilities will always believe. You are certainly correct that risk analysis has become a much larger part of the decisions with which utilities struggle concerning capital investments. Some of that risk analysis is good as tools like probabilistic planning help utilities judge the merits of one capital project against another based on hard facts (like risk) instead of softer political issues.
The exact location where that risk line will be drawn in the sand will separate those utilities that will be successful from those that will face the wrath of unhappy customers in the future. Utilities seem to be willing to draw the line closer, and sometimes beyond the ultimate emergency limits of capacity, than even before. In my opinion, many are simply going too far.
Lastly, I really appreciate your commentary title. There is nothing wrong with the word “stupid.” Sometimes in this industry it is appropriate and you are certainly correct in your application here.
Please continue to direct your comments toward those that have lost sight of the fact that reliability is what utility excellence is all about.
T&D Field Coordinator