HOUSTON – August 9, 2009– At about 11:45 a.m., a fire at CenterPoint Energy’s Midtown substation knocked out power to about 2,400 commercial and residential customers in the Midtown area. By 1:30 p.m., CenterPoint Energy had restored electricity to all customers. There were no injuries. As of 2:40 p.m., the fire is virtually out.
A substation, which is unmanned, is like a breaker-box in a person’s backyard – it steps down electricity that is being transported from power plants via high-voltage transmission lines to distribution customers.
The company’s substations have protective devices in place that detect faults and isolates equipment to prevent further damage to the system. They also have firewalls that separate equipment to maintain the integrity of the system.
The company will conduct a thorough investigation to determine what caused the incident.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total nearly $19 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.