Largest Parts of the Electric Grid are the Most Vulnerable

Date: 1 Nov 2010 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A recent study in the journal Safety Science suggested that the most vulnerable parts of the grid were the smallest, like neighborhood substations. 

“That’s a bunch of hooey,” says Seth Blumsack, Hines’s colleague at Penn State.

Hines and Blumsack’s recent study, published in the journal Chaos on Sept. 28, found just the opposite. Drawing on real-world data from the Eastern U.S. power grid and accounting for the two most important laws of physics governing the flow of electricity, they show that “the most vulnerable locations are the ones that have most flow through them,” Hines says. Think highly connected transformers and major power-generating stations. Score one point for common sense.

And score one point for distributed generation. 

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John Farrell
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John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.