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Directory:Electrical Grid Vulnerability

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Directory of information regarding electrical grid vulnerability issues.

Contents

Grid Vulnerability

Ramifications

Grid Vulnerability to Solar Flares

See Directory: Remedies for Grid Vulnerabilities to Solar Flares#News Stories about Grid Vulnerability to Solar Flares - separate page

  • Grid > Vulnerability to Solar Flares >
    Power Grid Braces for Sun Storms - A solar storm that reaches Earth could knock out communications, scramble GPS, and leave thousands without power for weeks to months. The tempest can create extra electrical currents in Earth's magnetosphere. The electrical power grid is particularly vulnerable to these extra currents, which can infiltrate high-voltage transmission lines, causing transformers to overheat and possibly burn out. (National Geographic; August 3, 2011)
  • Feature: Grid / EMP / U.S._Govt. and_Energy >
    Remedies for Grid Vulnerabilities to Solar Flares - If a blast like the Carrington Event of 1859 occurred again, we could see 100 million people out of electricity for a couple years. However, installing 'surge protection' for the power grid would not be that expensive or difficult – especially when contrasted with the expense of unprotected components failing. A call to action. (PESWiki; July 16, 2010)

Other Vulnerability

  • Grid > Vulnerability > Copper >
    Copper thieves target highway light wiring, costing taxpayers thousands - Thieves cut the wire at the junction box at the base of each of the light poles, then they tie the wire to the bumper of a truck, take off and rip the wire right out of the ground. They stole 7,000 feet of wire that weighed about 300 pounds and is valued at $17,000. (Deseret News; January 8, 2012) [Another reason for distributed energy solutions.]
  • The Matrix Overloaded: Clean Energy Will Depend on a New, 'Smart' Grid - The current electric grid has two basic shortcomings. It's not big enough to accommodate all the new electricity and it's not flexible enough to handle the inconsistencies of renewable energy, which is less steady than the workhorses of coal and natural gas; the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. (Wall Street Journal; Oct. 24, 2008)
  • Extra water, wind strain Northwest power grid - The Northwest is awash in electric power this spring. Rivers are swollen. Columbia River dams are running full bore. Wind farm blades are spinning. "If you have electricity but no one needs it, sometimes you have to pay someone to take it." (The Oregonian; June 27, 2008)
  • US Video Shows Hacker Hit on Power Grid - A government video shows the potential destruction caused by hackers seizing control of a crucial part of the U.S. electrical grid: an industrial turbine spinning wildly out of control until it becomes a smoking hulk and power shuts down. (PhysOrg; Sept. 27, 2007)
  • Avantis - "You’re in the midst of a world-class power struggle - a decisive fight to streamline processes, reduce costs, and manage assets better to come out on top. Whether you are maintaining Generating or T&D assets, Avantis is the only asset management solution that can reduce risk of implementation with pre-defined work processes and best practices. Avantis, today’s most effective enterprise asset management solution, is specifically tailored to help power companies do more with less - one already proven across the globe and one guaranteed to help you:
    • Gain a competitive advantage
    • Achieve regulatory compliance
    • Reduce forced outages
    • Improve work processes
    • Reduce safety and environmental incidents"
  • Ill-fated squirrel leaves thousands without electricity - It might sound a little nutty, but the sudden loss of electricity to 13,000 customers on a sweltering day was caused by a squirrel that got into a substation, shorting out circuits. (Brockton Enterprise, Massachusetts; Sept. 1, 2004)

[This kind of thing happens all the time. Reported here as a sampling.]

  • Lifeline for Renewable Power - Without a radically expanded and smarter electrical grid, wind and solar will remain niche power sources. (MIT Technology Review; Jan.-Feb. 2009)
  • Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits - Maple Ridge Wind farm cost $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, but at times, regional electric lines have been so congested, that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down, even with a brisk wind blowing. (Slashdot) (New York Times; Aug. 26, 2008)

See also

GRID FOOTER

GRID PROBLEMS

GRID SOLUTIONS

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