IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - 108

in Manhattan. In November 1965, the
first widespread northeast blackout
occurred. It began at Niagara Falls
where a maladjusted relay tripped out
a heavily loaded transmission line
a nd began a cascading collapse of the
power system across New York State
and beyond.
Prior to this event, it had been assumed that New York City would never
be completely blacked out due to its multiple sources of electric power. So Waterside, like many other generating stations,
had no diesel backup for a black start.
Regardless, diligence on the part of the
Waterside crew prevented any turbinegenerator bearings from being damaged
due to lack of oil during spin-down (such
was not the case at some other stations).
The steam heating supply system in
Manhattan was still intact, so a connecting valve was opened to allow the startup
of one of the low pressure turbines.
By this time, the Waterside boilers had
been converted to oil operation, but the normal ignition system in the furnace burners
was inoperative. Thus, a scrap wood fire
was built in one of the furnaces to ignite the
fuel and begin to build up steam pressure
for the high-pressure turbines.
Manhattan was supplied via a series
of ac networks, with each one fed by
multiple feeders from Waterside. All of
the feeders to a network had to be reenergized simultaneously to prevent any
of them from tripping out again due to
the high connected load. Several opera-

tors had to be stationed at the control
boards to close feeder breakers for a
given network at the same time, on a
count of "one-two-three-close."
Subsequently, master switches to
accomplish this were installed. I first
visited Waterside in 1995 and saw
an SB-1 switch on the Waterside II
control board that was labeled "Master - Herald Square Network." This
control board had been taken out of service in 1992 when a fully computerized
control room was built out onto the Waterside II turbine floor beneath it.
During the frantic effort to restart
Waterside in the 1965 blackout, one of
the station crew members found a moment to telephone his wife at home to
see how she was. Their home was out
of power, and she asked him, "What
have you done?"

Epilogue
My 1995 visit to Waterside, accompanied by my good friend Thea Robbins-Zust, was very kindly arranged
by Ed Foppiano, who was the station
manager at that time. I followed up
that visit with five more over the next
few years. I was escorted around the
station by engineer Charlie Amato,
who was willing to show me every
dusty and unused nook and cranny
where long out-of-use machinery (such
as motor driven exciters) had sat undisturbed for many years. It was totally fascinating!

When Waterside was shut down
in 2005, engineer Robert David kindly
sent me the large faceplate and dial assembly from an early 25-cycle GE synchronism indicator (synchroscope)
that had still been in place on one of
the marble panels in the old Waterside
I control room. I'm sure that many Waterside workers managed to save other
bits and pieces of this historic station
for posterity.

Acknowledgments
I want to thank Chris Hunter and his
staff of "MiSci" in Schenectady, New
York, for providing photos from their
GE photographic archives.

For Further Reading
"The Edison electric illuminating company of New York," Electr. Engineer,
vol. 21, no. 401, pp. 25-48, Jan. 8, 1896.
S. D. Sprong, "The system of the
New York Edison company," General
Electr. Rev., Part I, vol. VIII, no. 6,
pp. 163-168, May 1907. Part II, vol. IX,
no. 1, pp. 14-21, June 1907.
W. H. Lawrence, "Operating pilot board and load dispatching system
of the New York Edison company,"
General Electr. Rev., vol. XXVI, no. 3,
pp. 128-136, March, 1923.
D. Robert, The History of the Waterside Generating Station (1901-2005).
New York: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, 2007.
p&e

Correction
Due to a production error, in the September/October 2017 issue of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine,
the order of the authors was incorrect in [1]. The correct order is Yingchen Zhang, Caixia Wang,
Vahan Gevorgian, Xuejiao Lei, Ella Chou, Qionghui Li, Rui Yang, and Liping Jiang.
Reference
[1] Y. Zhang, V. Gevorgian, C. Wang, X. Lei, E. Chou, R. Yang, Q. Li, and L. Jiang, "Grid-level application of electrical energy storage," IEEE Power Eng. Mag, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 51-58, 2017.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2017.2750958
Date of publication: 18 October 2017

108

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