Strengthening the Grid: Utilities’ Strategy to Cope with Extreme Weather Events
Extreme weather events are no longer rare incidents that occur once in a blue moon. On the contrary, they are becoming more frequent in their occurrence and more extreme in their degree. Since the electricity grid is located in the open air on high voltage lines stretched for miles and miles, its exposure to such extreme weather events rises.
In case the grid suffers damages as a result of extreme weather event the consequences could be devastating. There is an obvious risk of power outages that could last hours until the problem in the grid chain is located and fixed. Such a scenario could have major direct and indirect costs borne, eventually, by the consumers themselves.
One of the ways to cope with the challenge of the grid’s exposure to extreme weather events is to strategically invest in strengthening the grid itself, making it more resilient to the impacts of extreme weather events.
Strengthening the grid does not end in merely physical strength of the materials used to build the grid itself; Such a solution is effective only to some extent and will not be useful in front of events such as a tree fall on a high voltage line. It also comes into play in the ability of remote monitoring and managing the grid. Such monitoring is meant to detect problems at their incipient stage before their consequences are far-reaching.
The Role of EGM in Coping with Extreme Weather Events
That’s where EGM’s Meta-Alert SystemTM pays a crucial role in grid monitoring. The System is built using a sensor located on the grid lines themselves, providing real time data on the specific polygon of the grid. Combined with data on weather conditions in the same area generates the ability to remotely control that segment of the grid and if necessary adjust the match between producers and suppliers so as to avoid that part of the grid which is currently unavailable as a result of the extreme weather event.
In such a case grid maintenance would not bother electricity supply to the end users and will focus resources on damage avoidance instead of damage control.