Hurricane Irene and Power Cuts

by Antonio Pasolini on August 28, 2011

Photo: NASA

It’s been a busy week on the American East Coast as far as natural phenomena goes. First, there was 5.8-magniture earthquake on Tuesday, 23 August, with the epicenter in Virginia. It was followed by Hurricane Irene, which came ashore in North Caroline on Saturday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the hurricane arrived in New York City on Sunday Morning, but it had weakened as it made its way along the Jersey shore. So far the death toll has been nine people. Hundreds of thousands have gone without power.

Earlier this week we published an interview with the American Wind Energy Association’s Michael Goggin who spoke to Energy Refuge about how a diverse portfolio of energy resources makes the grid more reliable, including during times of natural disasters.

Tuesday’s earthquake provided a good case in point: wind turbines continued to work while nuclear reactors were automatically powered off by safety measures. Back in February, Texas suffered with constant blackouts caused by cold weather and wind power came to the rescue.

“People have misconceptions that wind is not reliable and other sources of generation are always there. But we have seen in recent cases that is not necessarily the case; they weren’t there when the grid operator needed them most while in a number of incidents wind energy was”, Mr. Goggin told Energy Refuge.

Stay safe and have a great Sunday!

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