Grid Assurance, innovative industry-driven response
Michael Deggendorf is chief executive officer of Grid Assurance LLC. He is also senior vice president of corporate services for Kansas City Power and Light.
With increasing concerns about the possibility of prolonged transmission grid outages due to human attack (physical or cyber) or natural forces, how can transmission-owning utilities best ensure ready access to key replacement equipment such as large transformers and circuit breakers in emergencies?
A group of utilities has developed a way to address this problem. They are combining the resiliency benefits of a large secure store of long-lead time replacement equipment with the cost efficiencies of multi-utility pooling of inventory costs.
This initiative, Grid Assurance™, offers an innovative and cost-effective way to enhance utilities' ability to recover from catastrophic losses of transmission equipment.
It is an asset-based means of mitigating the risk that needed replacement equipment cannot be obtained in the aftermath of a catastrophic event. In essence, it provides insurance on prompt access to critical spare equipment for grid recovery.
This no-regrets approach deserves careful consideration by transmission owners and regulators, given growing risks to the grid.
Risks to the Grid, Replacing Damaged Equipment
As recent events demonstrate, catastrophic events such as physical attacks, cyberattacks, geomagnetic events, and severe weather including floods and hurricanes, pose potent risks to the nation's power grid.