Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More "field observations" on the power grid stability issue "on the road"

I concluded this little road trip, much of it about the power grid issue, today, by just paying a peek-a-boo visit to Virginia Transformer in Roanoke, for a picture. 

The property, of course, has warning signs (as well it should), but it seemed small in size for a plant or company that makes large hardware.  I would have expected to find a property the size of another Oak Ridge.  Well, not quite.

As I passed by and circled the cul-de-sac to leave, the cathartic climax of Josh Goban's postromantic song "I Believe" was blaring from my car radio on Sirius XM -- Th Blend.  Ironic indeed.
The general area, north of downtown, seems to be industrial and has other electric and utility-related companies around, some with help-wanted signs for technicians.

I can remember that after Hurricane Irene in September 2003, some sections of north Arlington VA did not have power for nine days, because of the difficulty in getting replacement transformers.  (Where I lived was only out about 14 hours, but was out three days after the 2012 derecho.)  Imagine how long we could be out after a major geomagnetic storm.

Again, it’s a national security problem.  We’d rather see more manufacturing of critical infrastructure components in the Shenandoah Valley (or maybe Tennessee  Valley) or perhaps in the Laurel Mountains than in India.  

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