This is something that worries me greatly. We are all familiar with seeing the transformers at the top of the electric poles.
But the grid also depends on these big, whiz-bang transformers that are interspersed along the feeder lines. These are the big puppies, the ones that do the main work.
Fellow on the radio one night said we have like 3,000 of them in service.
An EMP attack or even a semi-decent solar storm could knock out hundreds of them, and possibly cause cascading destruction of the good ones left.
The wait time for a new one of these is over a year as it is...
Exactly. Even the big power conglomerates don't have enough to replace downed trnasformers at these sub stations.
A coordinated attack by any group, Muslim or otherwise, armed with nothing but cell phones, 30-06 rifles with scopes could put us back to the 1600s in one afternoon.
Plus, "the grid" isn't something you just flip a switch on and get her going again. A restart protocol takes time. If we were hit hard enough, we could be looking ata 5-10 year period without a power grid as we currently enjoy.
A few years ago in Phoenix a large transformer (I think it was one of the ones that the long-distance (half-million volt) transmission lines hook into) blew up.
The nearest replacement was in Oregon.
It had to be transported by barge from Oregon to Los Angeles, then by truck at 10 mph from LA to Phoenix.
Lose two or three of those and there ... are ... no ... spares ... anywhere.
Consider also that they are not built anywhere in the USA right now.