August 14, 2013
Today is the 10-year anniversary of the blackout that caused the North East and parts of Canada to go dark, in some areas, for 2 days, not as the result of a terrorism attack but as a consequence of several factors.
Precipitated by excessive heat-related demand for cooling, the blackout-autopsy found insufficient power-line maintenance and cascading interstate failures due to a combination of operator errors and electrical system infrastructure deficiencies.
A White House report published earlier this week not only refreshes our memory about this enormously expensive and stressful experience that had billions of dollars of costs associated with it, and as a result of which eleven people died, the Report suggests that while we are making strides toward remedies, that storm patterns and climate change issues suggest we have not curtailed our vulnerability.
TIME Magazine Senior Editor Bryan Walsh said, “The best bet would be a more distributed grid, with more local generation — chiefly via solar panels — and local storage.”
To read more:
TIME Magazine Blog: http://science.time.com/2013/08/13/ten-years-after-the-great-blackout-the-grid-is-stronger-but-vulnerable-to-extreme-weather
The White House/DOE: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/08/f2/Grid%20Resiliency%20Report_FINAL.pdf