Some Maryland college students, energy consultant proposing several recommendations.
Annapolis, Md (KM) Governor Larry Hogan and the Public Service Commission are looking at ways to upgrade Maryland’s electric grid. That’s the delivery system for sending power to customers so they can turn on the lights, charge up their phones and other tasks.
Energy consultant Chelsea Henderson says there are calls to modernize the grid to it can handle renewable energy, not just power that exclusively comes from burning coal or oil. “The more different types of energy that we have. So more of a mix rather than just relying on one source. That’s going to help, ” she says.
Henderson also says security needs to be enhanced for the grid. “But also to make ourselves more secure from things like potential terrorists attacks,” she says. “Also, resilient against storms, high intensity storms which could knock whole regions of power.”
She says one recommendation that may work is creating micro-grids, which would reduce the massive power outages that often occur during and after massive storms or other weather emergencies. “You divide up those grids, so that you have smaller areas that are powered by a small grid function,” says Henderson. “That way, if one is taken out, the others can still operate.”
In end, she says, it would diversity the power that flows through the electric grid. “We’re not saying you can’t have the old options,” Henderson says. “But let’s just have more so we can be resilient.”
The call for an improved grid comes from four college students who wrote an op-ed (opposing editorial) for MarylandReporter.com, asking for “bold action” from the Governor and the PSC to upgrade the grid to handle more clean energy and electric cars. The students said the need for a modernized electric grid is necessary for the state’s growing economy and protecting national security.
The authors are identified as Rosemary Wilson, whose a sophomore studying Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Maryland; Jacob Veitch, a senior studying International Business and Government at the University of Maryland; Anna Susie, a sophomore at Salisbury University whose studying Marketing; and Jillian Scott, a sophomore at Salisbury University, studying Political Science and International Relations. All of these students are active in the College Republican Clubs on their campuses.
Henderson wrote an op-ed piece for the Baltimore Sun on the grid modernization proceeding before the PSC called PC44.
By Kevin McManus