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How 2017 Made the Argument for Microgrids

By District Energy posted 01-02-2018 00:00


Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge


Sometimes events make an argument more strongly than words can. Such was the case in 2017 when disaster after disaster spoke to the vulnerability of the electric grid and the need for microgrids to ensure power supply.

First came Hurricane Harvey in late August with wind and water knocking out 10,000 MW of generating capacity in Texas. Then on September 10 Irma left 8.5 million electric accounts (far more if actual people are counted) without electricity in the U.S. southeast, including about two-thirds of Florida.

Irma and Harvey were just a prelude to Hurricane Maria’s complete toppling of Puerto Rico’s grid on September 20. For years we had heard such a thing could happen. But never before had an entire electric grid collapsed in North America, nor has a widespread outage ever lasted so long.

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