Puerto Rico has been devastated by back to back hurricanes. My thoughts and prayers are with the people.
Their electric grid was severely damaged, and the island very well may remain without electricity for month, some estimating up to six months. No electricity limits the most critical functions in time of disaster to say nothing of putting life back together.
To make sure we are better prepared to handle the next storm, let’s take this decision point and invest in the next generation, or ‘next-gen,’ electricity grid! We already know the old way of doing things isn’t cutting it. Wiped out by weather- case and point.
So, while it may be less expensive to build the same old system instead of investing in new better suited technologies, the long term costs of the same old system will be greater because we will have to rebuild over and over and over and over and over …. (get the point?). There is a huge discussion about resiliency and ideas are emerging.
I’m no engineer (and, if you are, please help a sister out with what we should be looking at doing). Some ideas:
- hardening infrastructure (waterproofing, flood barriers, etc)
- ‘smart-ing’ up our network (network re-configuration, increased automation isolation devices)
- looking at distributed resources and micro-grids (some areas may be more effected than others- may be able to get micro-systems back online more efficiently)
Let’s get cracking. These folks need electricity. Moving towards the grid of the future is a smart investment for everyone.
What do you think should be part of the next-gen grid?