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- By Caroline McNally
Grid Modernization is more than modernizing our power grid, it is the process of strengthening the power grid in every aspect by means of distributed energy resources. Meaning, multiple clean energy resources (solar power, wind turbines) that are distributed throughout various locations will provide energy in a cleaner, stronger, and more efficient way.
Currently, the national power grid that we rely on is durable, but scientists and researchers of energy efficiency and renewal are concerned that its capabilities will slow down in the future. The power grid that we use daily relies on non-renewable resources that cannot be renewed through man-made measures and cause damage to the ozone layer when burned for energy use.
Grid modernization utilizes distributed energy resources (DER), also known as wind turbines and solar panels, to create energy. From there, that energy would transfer to a transmission station. At the transmission station, the high voltage electricity transfers into another form of electricity that can be moved to alternate locations and used widely. The energy is moved to a substation to conserve its voltage before moving to an automated distributor where the energy is then finally distributed to homes and businesses for our use.
Instead of relying on non-renewable resources that are at risk of depletion, grid modernization utilizes renewable resources to create a self-healing grid with greater strength and reinforcement. Through the process of undergrounding utility infrastructure (moving utility infrastructure underneath the ground), utilizing solar panels, wind turbines, and energy storage the modernized grid would be self-healing, unsusceptible to damages, improve damage response, and place less stress on the power grid. Grid modernization, if applied correctly, would make our power grid resistant to faults and built for longevity.
As stress on the power grid increases, population growth inclines further as well, it makes for a power grid that is overworked and at risk of breaking down. To prevent this, it is important that we alleviate stress on the power grid and utilize renewable resources to create a renewable, reliable, long-standing grid that does not harm the climate.