By Michael Mock , VP of Industry Development, The Electrical Alliance
The recent catastrophic hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands serve as a stark reminder of how dependent we are on uninterrupted electrical power and the consequences of losing that power.
The United States’ energy infrastructure continues to age and traditional sources of power supply are proving to be less reliable. Ponder the following points:
- The American Society of Civil Engineers gives a grade of D+ as the overall rating of our antiquated electrical system.
- The US Department of Energy reports, “Severe weather is the number one cause of power outages in the United States, costing the economy between $18 and $33 billion every yearin lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production and damage to grid infrastructure.”
There are solutions to improve the current state of energy infrastructure.
First, there is the increased demand for Distributed Energy Resources, also referred to as microgrids. These systems are normally connected to the traditional electric grid, but can go off grid to maintain power in the event of an infrastructure failure.
Natural gas-fired turbines and solar panels are popular options. A third option, Combined Heat and Power (CHP), is increasingly popular with critical service operations such as hospitals, public safety organizations and nursing homes.
In addition, the installation and maintenance of high capacity battery storage systems is another growing area of electrical construction. In fact, the State of Maryland recently adopted an energy-storage tax credit.
Over time, improvements using new technology should reduce the impact of future weather events. Electrical Alliance contactors are working diligently to upgrade our region’s commercial buildings’ systems. Search for the right electrical contractor for your next project.