The case for a distributed, smarter, cleaner power grid post Hurricane Sandy

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The power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy on the east coast highlight the needs for a much greater investment in smart grid technology, energy storage systems, clean power, and ultimately a move to a more decentralized power grid architecture.


Monday night as I was camped out in front of my Twitter feed — safe and dry in San Francisco — friends and family in New York started tweeting about power failures all over lower Manhattan. Their cell phones, running on batteries and tapping into their carrier’s high speed wireless networks — many that are backed up with diesel generators — were still up, even as the power grid went down across many parts of the East Coast.

As of Tuesday morning, around 7.5 million customers were without power across 15 states and Washington D.C. according to CNN. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday morning that he expects power to be out for the next two or three days in New York, “or maybe even longer than that,” and he also said that getting the power grid back up and running (along with getting the transit system online) will be the city’s “biggest challenges.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo publicly told New York utility ConEd that its initial estimates of restoring power within two weeks were “unacceptable.”

Read the full story from GigaOm

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