Electrical Grid Resilience In The Age Of Climate Change

What can we learn from the massive blackouts in California and what’s the status of Michigan’s grid resilience?

A DTE Energy truck holds up a repair crewman to restore power.

If you’ve been paying attention to national news for the last couple of weeks, you have undoubtedly heard about the raging California wildfires and the efforts to curb them through planned massive blackouts that affect hundreds of thousands of customersWhile the climate is different in Michigan, the move by Pacific Gas and Electric begs an important question: Is it only a matter of time before mass blackouts become a normal part of life? Detroit Today’s Stephen Henderson digs into the state of Michigan’s grid resilience and the risks we face in the age of climate change.

Henderson is joined by Larissa Larsen, associate professor in the Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Michigan and Robert Nelson, President of the Citizens Utility Board of Michigan

“In this part of the US, our big concerns are heat-related concerns and flooding,” says Larsen. Nelson adds that “improving infrastructure means getting new distribution wires replacing old distribution wires…it means interconnections with transmission companies so those are solid and enhanced, and it means making sure trees are trimmed properly.” DTE has been working to make upgrades to their power grid, and that tree-trimming is part of that improvement effort. 

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation about grid resilience.


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