2007_05_hydra.gifRealizing that the county is vulnerable to craziness in the power supply (best exhibited in the 2003 blackout), the Department of Homeland Security announced a $39 million pilot plan to better protect the power grid from disaster, whether natural or terrorist. And the pilot is taking place in NYC, with Con Ed and American Superconductor partnering up for "Team Hydra: Secure Super Grids." According to Newsday, here's what the project entails:

The pilot project...will tie together two midtown Manhattan substations, so that one can handle the load of the other in the event that individual circuits are disrupted -- whether by a lightning bolt, a car crashing into a substation or an act of deliberate sabotage.

It will also test whether looping high-temperature superconductor cables under city streets will suppress power surges that damage equipment and shut down service.

And while we're not sure how great a job Con Ed (American Superconductor may be carrying the burden) will do, we do love the logo - they should totally license it out for clothing.

American Superconductor says the "new technology is capable of carrying very large amounts of power while also being able to automatically suppress power surges." Apparently officialswere thinking about testing the program in the Financial district but decided that Midtown would be better, but a Con Ed project engineer explained, "until you prove the technology is successful, we didn't want to involve the Financial District." Ha!

If the pilot is successful, it will be put into place in other NYC areas as well as other urban centers. We bet Queens will demand to be one of those.