Living With Climate Change: Severe winter storm pushes power outages above 1.5 million. When will the electric grid be updated?

by | Dec 23, 2022 | Stock Market

The multi-state winter storm battering the U.S. with deadly temperatures, high winds and heavy snow has left over a 1.5 million customers without power as of Friday midday. Severe weather, including the coldest Christmas in decades for parts of the country, is a major test for what many describe as an outdated power grid that has been ignored for too long. Damaging winds have knocked out power to over 1.5 million customers stretching from Texas to New England, according to the site PowerOutage.US. 

Among the largest clusters of powerless businesses and homes, over 150,000 customers were without lights and potentially, heat, in North Carolina and over 102,000 were without power in much-colder Connecticut, the site said. Don’t miss: Climate change and the polar vortex: Winter storms are normal, but this string of severe Christmas weather isn’t typical Severe weather can bring havoc to even the sturdiest portions of the power grid, but there’s no doubt that each winter (and in summer’s extremes), the country braces for the worst given the age and general vulnerability of the electricity grid for the globe’s largest economy. In its annual report, the U.S. electric grid was given a C- grade by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Separately, the U.S. Department of Energy found that 70% of U.S. transmission lines are more than 25 years old in the agency’s most recent network-infrastructure review, held back in 2015. Lines typically have a 50-year lifespan. The average age of large power transformers, which handle 90% of U.S. …

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