We still don't know who was behind the attack, but the precise, military-style raid has some utilities experts worried that this was a dress rehearsal for a larger attack against America's aging and vulnerable electric grid. To illustrate the weakness of the electric grid, we need to look no further than the blackouts in 2003 that left much of the Eastern US and Canada in darkness. The attack on California's Metcalf Transmissions Substation took place at 1:30 am, when demand for electricity was low, and electricity could be rerouted without putting too much strain on the system. Be sure to like us on Facebook so you can be the first to know about the latest self-reliance tips and off the grid living skills. An attack by snipers on a Silicon Valley power substation last year is prompting the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to launch a crusade to better secure and defend the nation’s electrical grid.
Nonetheless, Wellinghoff is urging Congress to fill a void in federal law that he says doesn’t empower any federal agency to demand better security around electrical substations, which he describes as barely protected with a chain-link fence and cameras.
In all, 150 rounds from an assault rifle were fired over almost 20 minutes at a Pacific Gas and Electric Company substation south of San Jose, California, knocking out 17 transformers in the post-midnight darkness of April 16, according to PG&E, Wellinghoff and CNN affiliate KTVU.
To prevent a blackout to Silicon Valley, workers re-routed power, but it took almost a month to make repairs, the affiliate reported. This news had been kept quiet since the incident last April, but now is being leaked out from several media outlets… ABC7 NEWS in San Francisco reported yesterday that the attack was downplayed as vandalism during the time immediately following the attack at the Metcalf substation just south of San Jose, California.

It seems to arrive, as if by magic, to power our devices instantaneously and continuously But in truth, the electric grid is built on fragile physical infrastructure, which is as vulnerable to physical attack as it is to hacking. Here’s the thing though…the electrical system powering that plant was constructed in the 1880’s! That was part of the motivation to get our home electric panel upgraded to move our well pump to a separate box which can be switched to a generator. Yet it is clear that the electric grid is not adequately protected from physical or cyberattacks,” Waxman said in a statement.
Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on the Metcalf electrical substation firing more than 100 rounds – shooting for 19 minutes as they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley.
If you try to explain to people all of the things that stop working when the grid goes down, they usually react with denial, because they don’t want to believe that modern life is that vulnerable. Most people will agree that we are dependent upon the electrical power grid more than any other system in the modern world.
The electricity has to move at a constant speed (an analogy for what the engineers call frequency) and it has to flow at a constant depth (analogous to voltage). House passed such a measure, called the GRID Act, but the Senate didn’t act on the proposal, Waxman said.

This is not only a reason for better security, protection, and hardening of our grid systems, but it is a reason to be better prepared for survival without it. Her description is a bit long, but it lays out how electric grids work and why they are vulnerable. So when one generator goes out, the electricity it was supplying has to come from someplace else. Like a stream flowing into a new channel, the load will shift from one group of transmission lines to another.But, the more electricity you run along a power line, the hotter the power line gets. The more times you have to shift load around, the more the grid starts to get away from you. In 2003, six transmission lines went down in a row, several of them major channels for the flow of electricity.

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