• ResilienceLong Power Outages After Disasters Aren’t Inevitable – but to Avoid Them, Utilities Need to Think Differently

    By Seth Blumsack

    Americans are becoming painfully aware that U.S. energy grids are vulnerable to extreme weather events. Hurricanes in the east, wildfires in the west, ice storms, floods and even landslides can trigger widespread power shortages. And climate change is likely making many of these extreme events more frequent, more severe or both.

  • ResilienceRestoring Power During Severe Storms

    Recovery, guided by common policies from FEMA and industry, varies with respect to the severity of disruptive events. The failures under study were induced by a wide range of disruptive events from hurricanes, nor’easters, and thunder and winter storms from 2011-2019, affecting nearly 12 million people.

  • Grid securityMetallic Balloon Causes Massive Blackout in Dresden, Germany

    More than 300,000 buildings and apartments in Dresden, Germany, were without electricity on Monday after a metal-coated party balloon caused a major short circuit at the city’s main power station. The police is investigation whether this was an accident or a deliberate sabotage. Balloons have caused power disruptions in Germany in the past: the most notable cases are Stuttgart in 2017 and Frankfurt in 2015.

  • Grid securityCan Burying Power Lines Protect Storm-Wracked Electric Grids? Not Always

    By Theodore J. Kury

    Electricity is critical for health, safety and comfort. People wonder whether their electricity service might be more secure if those lines were buried underground. But I’ve studied this question for utilities and regulators, and the answer is not straightforward. There are many ways to make power grids more resilient, but they are all costly, require the involvement of many agencies, businesses and power customers, and may not solve the problem.

  • Energy securityPlanning for the Future in a Changing Climate

    How can companies, for example, utilities, know how changes in climate will impact their assets and their business strategy? And what can they do to identify and address issues before they affect customers? A partnership between the largest state public power entity in the U.S., the New York Power Authority (NYPA), and Argonne National Laboratory will enable the utility to better assess how its assets and business may be affected by extreme weather and other hazards.

  • Power-grid protectionDetecting, Blocking Grid Cyberattacks

    Researchers have designed and demonstrated a technology that can block cyberattacks from impacting the nation’s electric power grid.

  • WildfiresWildfires Threaten California’s Power Grid

    Wildfires blazed through California, Arizona, and Oregon, driven by winds and a lack of humidity.. Death Valley in California’s Mohave Desert hit 128 degrees Fahrenheit. Utility officials in Oregon were keeping a weary eye on the Bootleg Fire which is raging out of control in southern Oregon and threatening Path 66 — a vital electric line corridor linking California with the Oregon power grid. The blaze in Oregon threatens the power lines which carry power to California.

  • Nuclear powerSmall Modular Reactors Competitive in Washington’s Clean Energy Future

    As the Clean Energy Transformation Act drives Washington state toward carbon-free electricity, a new energy landscape is taking shape. Alongside renewable energy sources, a new report finds small modular reactors are poised to play an integral role in the state’s emerging clean energy future.

  • Electric gridResearchers Study Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Grid-Tied System in Texas

    By Deana Totzke

    Scientists are continuously looking for alternatives to fossil fuel-based power plants to diminish the adverse effects of fossil energy sources on the environment and build reliability. Researchers are studying the viability of solar photovoltaic (PV) grid-tied systems on rooftops to fill that need.

  • Texas electric gridAnalysis: The Texas Electric Grid and the Improvements that Didn’t Come

    By Ross Ramsey

    After the deadly and expensive electrical outages during a winter freeze in February, Texas lawmakers passed major bills aiming to make such disasters less likely in the future. But there’s still a lot to do.

  • Nuclear powerImproving the Safety of Next-Generation Reactors

    On 11 March 2011, in response to a massive earthquake, the nuclear reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi automatically shut down, as designed. The emergency systems, which would have helped maintain the necessary cooling of the core, were destroyed by the subsequent tsunami. Because the reactor could no longer cool itself, the core overheated, resulting in a severe nuclear meltdown. Since then, reactors have improved exponentially in terms of safety, sustainability and efficiency. Unlike the light-water reactors at Fukushima, which had liquid coolant and uranium fuel, the current generation of reactors has a variety of coolant options, including molten-salt mixtures, supercritical water and even gases like helium.

  • Power grid resilienceRenewable Energy Will Enhance Power Grid's Resilience

    A new study shows that integrating renewable energy into the American Electric Power System (AEPS) would enhance the grid’s resilience, meaning a highly resilient and decarbonized energy system is possible. The researchers’ analysis is based upon the incremental incorporation of architectural changes that would be required to integrate renewable energy into AEPS.

  • Grid reliabilityImproving Grid Reliability in the Face of Extreme Events

    The nation’s power grid remains vulnerable to disruption from extreme events including wildfires, severe storms, and cyberattacks. Variable generation resources and load volatility also present operational challenges to grid stability. To mitigate disruptions before they snowball, grid planners and operators must be able to see these events coming and understand their potential impacts on grid reliability.

  • Electrical grid securityU.S. Trying to Insulate Electrical Grid from Cyberattacks

    By Steve Herman

    With America’s electrical infrastructure getting zapped daily by an unprecedented number of cyberattacks, the federal government is taking action to prevent a potentially crippling hack of the grid. A 100-day plan was announced Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Department to harden security systems for the country’s electrical infrastructure and increase the ability to detect and neutralize cyber threats.

  • Power gridTexas House Targets Power Grid Flaw that Cut Electricity to Natural Gas Facilities and Worsened February Blackouts

    By Sami Sparber

    The lower chamber gave initial approval Monday to a series of bill responding to this year’s catastrophic power outages during a deadly winter storm.