New Video: Beyond Resilience in the Age of Extremes

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How can we enhance resilience, decarbonize and enhance electricity affordability — all with the same solution? Find out in a new video from Hoffman Power Consulting.

The age of extremes

Our world is changing; we seem to have entered an age of extremes. As we’ve all seen, hurricanes are increasing in frequency and intensity. Unprecedented wildfire seasons are destroying communities and forcing lengthy evacuations. Winter storms are pressing southward into unhardened infrastructures.

In these extreme conditions, the electric power system becomes even more important: It supports other critical infrastructures, including water, telecommunications, health care, financial services and more.

Resilience, decarbonization and affordability

Steve Hoffman, President and CEO of Hoffman Power Consulting

Realizing this, many utilities are striving to enhance the resilience of the grid to extreme events. Many utilities are also working to decarbonize the electric power system. At the same time, all utilities strive to further improve business-as-usual, or “blue sky,” operations and affordability of electricity.

Most industry stakeholders view these as three independent challenges — with separate solutions. But what if there was a single solution that could address all three? What is this mysterious “supersolution”?

Can you guess the six supersolutions?

Well, in fact, there are six ways to simultaneously enhance resilience, decarbonize and improve everyday operation and affordability. This video describes these solutions and how each of them achieves this trifecta of benefits. Before you watch the video, can you guess the six solutions? Can you guess the last, most important one?

Feedback welcome

What do you think of our video? We welcome your feedback at [email protected].

Steve Hoffman is president and CEO of Hoffman Power Consulting. If you’re interested in reading more on resilience, visit Hoffman Power Consulting.

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  1. All of the points made have been around for decades. Some of us can remember when Jimmy Carter appeared on TV in his red sweater asking the citizens of the U.S. to turn down their thermostats in the winter and put on a sweater to save energy and money. Smart programmable set back thermostats came along and were a cost effective way to control energy use summer or winter. Leave your thermostat at 82 to 84 degrees F if you’re not at home all day and set back the thermostat to say 80 to 78 degrees when one is home, use ceiling fans for air movement to keep the living space comfortable. The original argument by the rote utilities is when you install solar PV on your roof, it will degrade over time and not be as effective, so called LID, Light Induced Degradation is (a) truth but not as dire as the utilities make it seem. My first solar PV installation on my home kept my electric bill at only three months out of the summer and the bill then was around $60 to $80 a month. After my 20 year old air conditioning failed, I had the latest greatest Energy Star air conditioning system installed. It amazed me at how just replacing this one home “appliance” made such a big difference in my electricity budget. With the original PPA in place and net metering, my electric bills (stopped), no more electric bills for the whole year from then on. So, LID is real, but not that big of a deal, energy efficiency does more over the long term. Every home upgrade from now on should be house C.B. panel, smart circuit technology in place for future resiliency and change out all old appliances with Energy Star appliances. Make a long term plan for energy upgrades. Depending on how old one’s home is, the upgrades in insulation may not do as much in a 1980’s and later constructed home. Upgrading the house circuit breaker panel getting ready for all electrification upgrades to the home, might be a first project. Looking ahead to solar PV and energy storage as well as installing one’s own home EV charging station that could also be grid interactive, might make later resiliency plans easier to apply to one’s home. Right now we are at a “crossroads” where EVs can be much more than electrified transportation. A lot of folks live just a few miles from work and travel less than 50 miles a day round trip. If you have an EV with another 45kWh to 50kWh left in the battery pack each day, then one could use the EV as arbitrage, grid demand services or grid fail resiliency with just one device, your EV. As more BEV models roll out and more function is added to these EVs, the electric car may supplant the need for smart ESS and solar PV for resiliency and use the EV for this task also.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Solarman! I completely agree with you that these strategies have existed for decades. I remember discussing them in engineering school in the 1970s/1980s! I also agree with you that we are at a “crossroads.” With all of these approaches and technologies now technically mature, utilities, communities, regulators, system providers, and end users can work together to leverage their maximum benefit. We can enhance resilience, decarbonize, and improve electricity affordability — all at the same time.
      Thanks again,