Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dominion Power headquarters tower over site of Virginia Pride in Richmond, sending a quiet message about freedom's dependence on technology


Yesterday, Saturday, September 27, 2014, as I visited Virginia Pride on Brown’s Island in Richmond, and looked up at the new real estate development along the James River that aims to bring Richmond’s skyline up to the artistic standards set up other cities in the south (Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Tampa), I noticed what appears to be Dominion Power’s corporate headquarters. 

And then, at the south-tip end of the Island, I noticed a significant power generating station.

All of this gives pause to remember that our modern individual freedoms, free expression, and personal autonomy seem to have a lot to do with technology, and our dependence on the electric power grid.  In recent posts, I’ve talked about the vulnerability of the grid, to big solar storms, and possibly terrorists.  There are a variety of strategies available to increase resilience, including some decentralization (more use of net metering), increased redundant capacity (which doesn’t help the immediate bottom line of a publicly traded company), new electrical grounding technologies for transformers, and more police security. 
  
It’s well to remember that Virginia is the home of at least two significant companies that make transformers, but unfortunately these companies (in the Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley) depend on overseas imports heavily.  That’s not a healthy thing given the national security implications.  

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