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A vulnerable power grid: Let's invest in critical national infrastructure

Pitt's Dr. Gregory Reed explains why the U.S. needs to reimagine the nation's grid for safety and security

The Atlanta airport blackout this past weekend is yet another example of the vulnerability of our aging electric power grid infrastructure and our critical reliance on the reliable supply of electricity that supports our nation’s productivity and quality of life.

Fortunately, the Atlanta airport event was contained and resulted in no injuries, though it did have a cascade effect on other travel. And it indicates the need for continued research and development on innovative solutions to our evolving energy supply and delivery needs. Couple it with the ongoing outage in Puerto Rico and power disruptions from many other recent storms in the Gulf region, as well as an increasing frequency of weather-related power outages over the past several years, and it highlights a quiet yet growing crisis.

We take reliable electricity for granted in the United States. Electricity is the lifeblood of our socioeconomic heartbeat. Beyond major events that make the news, what happens when a circuit trips at work or a storm affects power to your home? Virtually all activity stops. Outages are usually brief, manageable annoyances. But like our roads, bridges and dams, our electric power system is an aging part of our national infrastructure that requires long overdue modernization.  

Read Dr. Greg Reed's full op-ed at The Hill.

Author: By Gregory F. Reed, opinion contributor to The Hill

Contact: Paul Kovach