As I wrote in Part I of this article: “There is no such thing as a new $5,000 Rolls-Royce. If you want the quality, the engineering and the performance, you need to pay for it. Good intelligent infrastructure is no different.”
If the cost of five minutes of downtime is $450,000,000,000, then spending another $4,000,000,000 to decrease it to an average of two minutes a year is a bargain. The cost/benefit analysis is clear.
(Editor's Note: For part 1 in this series, click here.)
In January 2014, a weather front known as a “polar vortex” descended from Canada’s arctic north and brought frigid temperatures and heavy snow and ice as far south as Texas and eastward to the Mid-Atlantic and New England.
As our energy mix changes, the need to improve the infrastructure for delivering that power also grows. Utilities recognize that need and are investing in upgrades to their delivery systems. Customers in New York and Pennsylvania are about to benefit from one such upgrade.
It can be easy to forget that, in rural areas, the way electricity is transmitted can be more old-fashioned than in urban landscapes. Now, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made the money available to bring these systems into the 21st century.
In December 2014, it was announced that GE Global Research, GE Energy Consulting, National Grid (a utility in the Northeast), the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Clarkson University (Potsdam, N.Y.) were forming a partnership in a research project to develop an
“Dark fiber” is a term often heard in conversations about fiber optic communications. Perhaps this is because it has a name that sounds evil or nefarious. But dark fiber is just fiber that has been installed and is not currently in use; instead, it is reserved for spares or future use.
In the utility sector, not many issues cause industry stakeholders more anxiety than the aging infrastructure and continuously increasing demand. Around the country, utilities are investing heavily to keep up with degradation and power-hungry consumers.
As residents of one of the world’s economic giants, it’s easy to take our standard of living for granted and assume we will always be able to enjoy the best of what science and innovation have to offer.
Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes "The Report Card for America's Infrastructure," which grades the current state of the nation's infrastructure segments on a scale of A through F.