In January 2013, GWA conducted a workshop entitled “Grid Modernization Impacts During Superstorm Sandy and Other Very Large Scale Grid Events” (referred to as “Workshop”) to explore electric system-related challenges experienced during recent significant events and potential opportunities to help alleviate their effects.
This Workshop was unique in that it brought together utility and vendor representatives—more than 60 experts in total—to discuss ways in which grid modernization capabilities (i.e., technologies, processes, and people) affect four key functions during these VLSEs:
- Preventing power outages;
- Safely and quickly restoring power to affected customers;
- Communicating with stakeholders before, during, and after the event; and
- Serving or restoring critical loads to avoid or alleviate the most serious impacts on society from the loss of electricity
Workshop participants clearly articulated the value of modernizing our grid to improve reliability and resilience. Grid modernization technologies—when properly integrated with the skilled workers and processes—can significantly reduce the impacts of VLSEs and reduce the costs to society from these types of events. The following outline presents lessons learned from the Workshop discussion followed by GWA’s key recommendations of actions to address the needs identified during the Workshop. These lessons and recommendations—intended for electric utilities; other infrastructure providers; state commissions and other policy makers; and federal decision makers, including Congress and agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Federal Communications Commission—are fully expanded upon in the body of this report entitled Improving Grid Reliability and Resilience: Lessons Learned from Superstorm Sandy and Other Extreme Events (referred to as “Report”).