Sorry for the late reply.... it's been hot in Indiana too... and the
systems don't like 110% load too much.
Much like the systems you guys install, HV systems are 'usually'
protected against melt down... unless some moron decides to override the
safeties and take their chances.
The down-and-dirty is we don't have enough generation, and we don't have
transmission to handle high peaks anymore. That went out the window
more than 5 years ago. While systems used to be designed for 20% over
rated capacity... it just doesn't happen these days.
I saw the ISO reports on NY. No lines 'melted'... as far as anyone can
tell. Subs tripped... then reclosed... then tripped again until they
Even if the fault was a under-voltage condition, utilities are required
(by due-diligence) to check the entire secondary system before
re-energizing. This takes some time... as you might imagine.
Ron is right... utilities know very well what their load profiles look
like. They go to great lengths to ask customers to 'stagger' their
loading of the system. People don't listen... and then they're out of juice.
The 'system' will protect itself... above all other factors.
We don't have enough capacity anymore, and people are going to have to
learn to adjust.