Grid Resiliency Q&A #3

The CleanTech Alliance is continuing to spotlight grid resiliency, as it remains a top-of-mind issue for many Americans.

You can read our first interview with Tim Wolf and Carl Imhoff from Pacific Northwest National Lab on our website here and our second interview with with Matt Smith, the Senior Director, Grid Management at Itron here.

Our third Q&A is with Cam LeHouillier, Manager, Energy Research and Development at Tacoma Power.

CTA: In your opinion, what is the biggest threat to our power grid? 

Tacoma Power: ​Cyber Terrorism.  Aside from obvious threats like hacking utility SCADA systems and affecting generation assets, utilities may be susceptible to general mayhem.  Imagine deleting all the utility accounts, or replacing balances with random numbers over a period of weeks. 

CTA: What unique natural disasters does the Northwest face that could impact grid reliability?

Tacoma Power:  Volcano (Mount Rainier),  Earthquake (shared with California),  Tidal Wave (also shared with OR, CA), Wildfires (affecting transmission).

CTA: What emerging technologies are you excited about that improve grid resiliency?

Tacoma Power: Water heater controllers & Internet of Things, batteries + solar, vehicle-to-grid, on-site hydrogen generation/storage/power generation 

CTA: How important is battery storage going to be in the coming years?

Tacoma Power: Unclear. Battery storage is helpful for short intermittent imbalances between supply and demand. Long-term energy storage in the form of hydrogen or liquid hydrogen carriers will have a much bigger impact on heavy duty vehicle transportation and longer term energy storage.

CTA: How is your organization planning for grid resiliency and mitigating potential outages?

Tacoma Power: Demand response pilots, considering time-of-use rates, managed EV charging, on-site hydrogen production, storage, and end-use.

Thanks again to Cam LeHouillier and Tacoma Power for answering our questions. Stay tuned for more grid resiliency Q&As.

Interested in learning more about utilities and grid resiliency? Check out our upcoming energy events, such as our Zappy Hour series or our annual Energy Leadership Summit on November 9th.