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Grid Resiliency

Note from the editor

Increasing risks and impacts from hurricanes, wildfires and other extreme weather events have spurred billions in invesments across the U.S. to enhance grid resiliency.

But as the criticism leveled by New York and Connecticut officials regarding the response by Northeast utilities to Hurricane Isaias showed, much work remains to be done.

As with many things these days, COVID-19 has complicated matters, but utilities and grid operators have adapted. At the same time, they're facing increasing cyber threats, with attacks over the past year showing weaknesses in the grid, but also providing critical lessons.

From increased deployment of microgrids and distributed energy resources to undergrounding power lines and systematic software upgrades, a variety of measures are being deployed to address threats.

These and other grid resiliency developments are explored in-depth in the stories below.

Larry Pearl Senior Editor

As extreme weather spurs billions in utility resilience spending, regulators struggle to value investments

A new study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows the value of resilience depends on too many factors to easily quantify and moves regulators back to human judgment.

ConEd, Eversource blasted by New York, Connecticut officials after 'wholly inadequate' storm response

Florida approves utility storm protection plans; analysts advocate measures beyond undergrounding

System hardening can help keep the lights on during a storm, but experts warn this addresses only the symptoms of a fragile grid.

When storms collide: Utilities' new approach to hurricane restoration in the age of COVID-19

Taking Charge: How California's first CCA confronts wildfire risk and energy equity amid COVID-19

MCE CEO Dawn Weisz spoke to Utility Dive about the community choice aggregator's efforts to make its service area more resilient.

Distributed storage could see growth in demand amid COVID-19 pandemic, analysts say

Despite short-term delays to projects, some industry players think demand for distributed storage could eventually see an uptick.

Utilities say they are prepared to meet cyber threats. Are they?

Budgets are rising and power companies are focused on exceeding the baseline security standards required by energy-sector regulation.

Natural gas ransomware attack offers critical lessons for electric utilities, analysts say

First cyberattack on solar, wind assets revealed widespread grid weaknesses, analysts say

New details of a denial-of-service attack earlier this year show an energy sector with uneven security.

Microgrid of the future emerges in Washington as Avista preps transactive DER project

New building control systems and a pair of solar+storage systems will test the business case for greater integration of distributed energy resources.

As utilities scramble to manage explosive DER growth, is power grid autonomy a solution?

The U.S. electric grid could face hundreds of millions of distributed resource deployments in the near future. But optimizing these data points may exceed human ability.

Key developments in grid resiliency

As with many things these days, COVID-19 has complicated matters, but utilities and grid operators have adapted. At the same time, they're facing increasing cyber threats, with attacks over the past year showing weaknesses in the grid, but also providing critical lessons.

included in this trendline
  • Microgrid of the future emerges in Washington as Avista preps transactive DER project
  • Taking Charge: How California's first CCA confronts wildfire risk and energy equity amid COVID-19
  • First cyberattack on solar, wind assets revealed widespread grid weaknesses, analysts say
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.