Skip to main content

Is it true that humans learn from experience?

If so, how about Nations that provide citizens their daily sense of security.

Or not.

If so, Hurricane Sandy could serve as one ginormous "learning experience" ...

Sandy and the smart grid: who won?

Post-mortem premature, as recovery continues

by Phil Carson, -- Nov 18, 2012

In the power sector, one question is: did smart grid technology aid in preparation, response and recovery from the hurricane? Another question: is the first question a fair one?

The short answer, taking the second first, is: of course! Stakeholders want to know whether their investments have been productive. We're all shelling out big time to modernize the grid. Didn't many utilities sell advanced metering infrastructure on the promise of customers "saving money" and increased reliability for the system? The first claim, based more on active energy management in the face of dynamic prices than the result of mere awareness of energy use data, remains somewhat theoretical as dynamic pricing remains scarce.  

The answer to the first question is that it's premature to say, but fair to conclude that generalizations are difficult. Where sea water flooded a substation vault, smart grid technology as we know it is of little use. Where tree damage in, say, leafy New Jersey -- the suburbs raison d'etre -- affected as much as one-third the shady canopy, the damage was so extensive that we'll all be fascinated whether millions of last gasps from smart meters really mattered. Did data from smart grid systems really enable utilities to better deploy field crews?

Smart Grids which basically measure and shuffle "peak usage" loads -- aren't really so smart, when there are "no more peaks."  Are they?

America built an intrastate transportation system -- that for the most part works. It connects markets from coast to coast. Seamlessly.

Why have we not yet seen the same need for an equally robust intrastate Energy system?

Patch work is great for quilts and old jeans -- not so great for a 21st century Electric Utility system.

EPRI: Sandy exposes smart grid limits, and maturity

Storm should reset stakeholder expectations, renew commitment

by Phil Carson, -- Nov 19, 2012

The starting point is to acknowledge the role of physical damage to the grid and the laws of cost/benefit analysis.

It's simply not possible to harden the sprawling electric transmission and distribution grid against all eventualities, Mansoor told me, echoing a widely held view. "All eventualities" cannot be predicted, hardening can never be 100 percent and the cost of even attempting this is prohibitive and ill-advised.

But the experience gained in dealing with Hurricane Sandy raises several issues that require attention, he said. Utilities have work to do, regulators have prudent costs to consider and end-use customers need tools and strategies to cope, as well.

"We see a three-pronged approach to resiliency," Mansoor said of EPRI's approach. "First is hardening. This could involve things such as undergrounding, vegetation management, hydrophobic coating for lines, substation storm surge and seismic design criteria. The second aspect is recovery: identifying the location of damage, isolating the damaged portion and restoring power. The third prong is survivability -- how can we equip consumers with technologies beyond a candle to better cope with a prolonged outage? -- which is the least-resourced area.

We all talk about about Jobs -- Jobs that can't be outsourced.

Well, building that next super-highway which supports our super-life-styles would mean Jobs.

American neighborhoods should not go dark, everytime there is a wind storm.

American neighborhoods should not be reliant on the local power generators, when it is technologically feasible to ship energy from coast to coast.

From the solar farms of desert southwest to the metropolis of the suburban California sprawl.

From the wind farms of the high plains to the mega-planners locked in the DC bubble.

It is possible, if only we had a truly Smart-Super-Grid.

You know, like we once built the rail and the road systems -- that make the American way of life possible.

It is time to do it again.  Think BIG.  Look Ahead.  Past the fences on our front yards.

You know, get off our collective 20th century butts. ... The clock is ticking.

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:34 AM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, SciTech, and Kosowatt.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site