PIttsburgh Connection: Region seen as powerful player in quest to provide solutions to aging U.S. electric grid
WASHINGTON OBSERVER-REPORTER ARTICLE BY MICHAEL BRADWELL
PITTSBURGH - By now, most people in the Pittsburgh region know about its prominence as a national supplier of coal and natural gas to fuel America's power plants that supply the U.S. electric grid.
But it's the grid itself, both here and across the country, that has come under fire in recent years for its advanced age.
News stories over the past decade have discussed the fragility and vulnerability of a system that has been supplying the nation's power since the early 1900s with little technological change since the 1970s.
But a University of Pittsburgh engineering professor believes that the Pittsburgh region is poised to generate many of the solutions that will re-energize the national grid.
Dr. Gregory Reed, an associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, who spoke last month at a Carnegie Science Center "Cafe Scientifique" event, said the grid will require multiple solutions at a cost of "hundreds of billions of dollars" to meet future demand.
Reed also said that efforts to create a "smart grid" through more efficient consumer and commercial use of electricity, while necessary, won't be enough on their own to make the U.S. grid resilient enough for future demand by consumers, business and industry.
Contact: Paul Kovach