We’ve all seen the impact of wildfires on California utilities, with devastating impact on Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) customers and shareholders.
What can utilities do to proactively address this risk and make sure that the modern grid is safe for customers and shareholders alike? Yes, development of microgrids, distributed energy resources (DERs) and energy storage is vital to building a flexible, safe grid for the 21st century. But the reality is this: transmission lines are still delivering the lion’s share of electricity consumed in the United States. That equates to hundreds of billions of dollars in value being delivered across transmission infrastructure. That won’t change overnight, and utilities need to assess their options to ensure that their transmission lines are being operated as safely as possible today, in 2019. With the impact of climate-related wildfires showing no signs of slowing down, utilities must act quickly to identify and mitigate the risk they are carrying.