Over the weekend, 140,000 people in Los Angeles spent 12 steamy hours without power when a local high-voltage transformer blew up. No one knows the cause of this particular disruption of service. But it’s the latest reminder of an ominous reality.
The U.S. electric bulk power distribution system, better known as “the grid,” is literally indispensable to life in 21st Century America. If it is widely disrupted and stays down, we’ll quickly lose access to clean water, safe food, our finances, transportation, communications, health care, etc.
The present grid critically depends on several thousand large – and vulnerable – transformers to move power around the country. There’s effectively no way to replace them all. If we lose large numbers of them, through enemy action or naturally occurring solar storms, we are toast.
To avoid such a fate, we must secure the grid now.