Hurricanes, solar storms and the struggle to maintain electricity


LG: Obviously, extremely destructive hurricanes often hit the deep South. In your report, do you know how prepared the city and the people of New Orleans are for this disaster, and how this preparation might help in this situation?

LN: Of course, Entergy, the main power company in the region, is very, very familiar with the recovery process in these situations, because unfortunately, they have to do it often. When the rain stops and it’s the first morning you see this destruction, the key is to conduct a very thorough reconnaissance process to ensure that Entergy and other smaller utility companies in the area fully understand what the problem is and what the problem is. Stop, what are the problems with the transmission lines that we discussed, what are the problems with every inch of the local power lines, and get a picture of the system, and then you can start to develop a strategy to bring back part of it.

Having experience with past storms allows them to complete the process as efficiently as possible, although they still estimate that it will take several days to several weeks. This does not mean that you can complete the work in two days, but after Hurricane Katrina, they were able to restore power to all buildings that could receive electricity. There is such a wide range of damage, it is not given, but it is just that the process took 40 days.

In the subsequent hurricane recovery, they have knocked it down. The first is 30 days. Now, it is usually about three weeks. So I think the historical record tells them that they hope to get everyone back to normal in about three weeks. Before that, many parts may come back. They are trying to get everyone back as soon as possible. The infrastructure projects we talked about-such as levies, flood walls, flood gates, water pumps-all of which are vital, even if they are not grid infrastructure, because when you have no floods or much less floods, You can start the reconnaissance process faster.

Otherwise, you will have to wait for several days for the flood to recede before you can really make an assessment. Entergy and other utility companies will go to sea by boat to start reconnaissance as early as possible. But it is obvious that you will not restore the current in a ton of water. I think this obviously doesn’t work. All of these, all the improvements in infrastructure will help to help the grid to resume operation faster.

However, I would also like to point out that in the New Orleans suburbs and surrounding low-lying areas, these projects are still being planned but not yet completed, because since Hurricane Katrina, fundamentally redesigning flood protection measures is a huge effort.So actually New Orleans currently has some suburbs used to be In the great flood, they still need to go through the old process of waiting for the water level to drop while reconnaissance on board. So of course, even if the success of these measures is exciting and a huge relief, the process is not certain.

MC: Now Lily, you said in your story that there are some new power plants. I think the two new power plants in New Orleans can withstand hurricanes to some extent. What happened to those people in the storm?

LN: Yes. Therefore, Entergy has been working with Louisiana to put these two new natural gas power stations into operation. They are advertised as more efficient than other older Entergy natural gas power plants, and they are cleaner and more environmentally friendly; at least this is about their publicity. The target is natural gas, which is abundant in the area. It is easier to stay online during a disaster. So this is the idea behind it, well, it’s hurricane resistant because it uses natural gas, unless you point out that, like many power plants in the area, these power plants are either down or partially out. Therefore, this shows how this flexible plan will really work, and there is still an unresolved part here. Of course, it raised the question of how to improve it.


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