This summer’s spike in temperatures and the resulting blackouts are just the tip of the extreme weather iceberg. As the frequency and severity of wildfires, floods, hurricanes and ice storms increase, the need for utility resilience is at an all-time high. These factors present a massive challenge to the grid, the internet and our ability to stay connected. The North American Electric Reliability Corp recently released a statement saying that key players in the U.S. power grid are making an effort to improve on that resiliency, as climate change continues to drive extreme weather. What would a proactive investment in regional electrical grids look like?
As a way to mitigate risks for impending natural disasters, utility companies are looking to alternative materials as part of their solution. When it comes to making a strategic and long-term investment, utilities are turning to composite FRP as a reliable choice for replacing their aging infrastructure, protecting against future weather events and ultimately keeping the power on.
From the material’s sustainability to its resilience, composite solutions will play a critical role in the future of grid hardening. For example, composite utility poles are lighter than their traditional steel or concrete counterparts, yet maintain a level of durability that is not achievable with wood poles. Composite poles require virtually zero scheduled maintenance yet have proven to be suitable for high load performance. Based on these comparisons alone, it comes as no surprise that many utility companies are seriously rethinking the role materials play in grid hardening.
RS Technologies’ PowerON Singular Poles are a prime example of what this material pivot will look like. These single-piece FRP poles require no assembly, and when paired with the RS PowerON Crossarm, result in the most effective solution for resilient grid hardening to date. This “proven resilience,” as they call it, boasts an 80 year service life, 41 year warranty and near perfect performance. The PowerON family of composite products are engineered to be resilient, safe and environmentally sound, and are raising the standard across the industry.
And the benefits of composite grid components surpasses just grid hardening. These poles and crossarms excel in a variety of applications, including wetlands and environmentally sensitive locations, like wildfire-prone land. It’s becoming apparent that these environmental threats — from hurricanes to wildfires — can be swiftly mitigated through RS Technologies’ composite product line. These engineered materials were specifically designed to save costs, manpower and resources while stabilizing the grid more than ever before. It’s a win-win solution for utility companies and the residents and businesses who depend on them.