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When the largest machine in the world fails

Written by Stephanie Joyce/Inside Energy | May 27, 2015 9:44 AM
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Photo by Courtesy of Bill Stevenson/Creative Common

A smashed van in the aftermath of the 1998 ice storm.

(Undated) -- If you could peer behind an electrical plug in your house, you'd find a massive network of transmission lines and power plants, along with a whole army of people bringing power to the socket, in real-time, 24-hours-a-day.

It's the largest machine in the world -- the power grid. 

Most of the time it operates invisibly, in the background.

But what happens when it fails?

In the first story of the series "Blackout: Reinventing the Grid," Inside Energy's Stephanie Joyce brings us a story of the lights going out.

Inside Energy is a public media collaboration focused on America's Energy Issues.

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