Energy Resilience in the Wake of Ida
September 23, 2021
The destruction and despair left in the wake of Ida has left its mark. From its start in Louisiana to its path up the East Coast, each city is handling the devastation differently.
Ida made landfall Aug. 29 as a Category 4 hurricane and is responsible for at least 15 deaths in Louisiana and 50 more across the Northeast. President Biden has visited a few cities that were devastated by the storm to help efforts to get these cities back on their feet.
Many electric companies nationwide have taken steps to shore up their grids. Ida knocked out power to about 948,000 customers, leaving them in the dark, causing an uproar from said customers. Most experts argue that there’s no single remedy, and that it takes a combination of fuels, technologies and designs to build a resilient system.
Coming up with a resilient system is easy, implementing it however is not. State utility regulators can act as gatekeepers against major capital investments which would drive up customer electricity bills. These changes come at a cost and unfortunately, many people aren’t up for it.
These changes need to happen though in order to keep the lights on during and after storms like Ida. This article takes 3 topics into account when discussing the revitalization of our power grid:
- Imagination and planning
- Strategic options
- State gatekeepers