Sandy Reminds About Frailty of Electric Grid
With eight million customers or so without electrical power today on the United States’ East Coast, it’s worth recalling Lisa Margonelli’s prescient look at the nation’s aging power grid from July:
Two scary things stand out about America’s failure to shore up its grid over the last 15 years. The first is that the grid’s frailties are getting worse as our weather is getting weirder. The second is that the U.S.’s inability to sort out the right mix of public and private investment and get on with the process of building the grid we need reflects that we no longer quite believe in the common good. It’s not just a power failure, it’s also an optimism failure.
Hurricane Sandy has put lots of assumptions about the grid to the test, ranging from the wisdom of having so many power lines above ground to the need for nuclear generators to go dark during big blows.