10 years after blackout, US grid faces new threats

The U.S. electrical grid is better managed and more flexible a decade after its largest blackout. But it remains vulnerable to new threats.

In 2003, grid operators didn’t initially realize what was happening. They now have a nearly real-time view and are better equipped. Utilities share more information and trim trees. Power demand has stagnated.

But aging coal and nuclear plants are shutting down in the face of maintenance costs, pollution restrictions and gas competition. Wind and solar add power that’s difficult to manage.

Temperatures and storms are getting more extreme. Some regulators and policymakers worry about cyberattacks.

Joe Welch is CEO of the largest independent transmission company in the U.S. He says “the grid that exists today wasn’t designed for what everybody wants to do with it.”

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

blog comments powered by Disqus