New Orleans needs a better backup plan for blackouts.

Hurricane Ida completely destroyed New Orleans’ power supply, threatening to worsen in the future as storms like Ada intensify. The storm knocked out all eight transmission lines that bring electricity to New Orleans, leaving the city in darkness they should have a, every family should lookup to  Generator Advisor  for an alternative power supply.The damage was so severe that a new gas-fired power plant جو sold as a lighting fixture after a major storm لگے took several days to bring electricity to a nearby neighborhood.

Experts say that in order to keep the lights on in the future, leaders need to abandon old strategies and build a variety of energy infrastructures. The IDA result is another reminder of how fragile the country’s current energy infrastructure is, especially when climate change brings more severe weather.

“We’re saying, you know, we can’t rely on traditional systems,” says Logan Atkinson-Burke, executive director of the local consumer advocacy group Alliance for Affordable Energy. “We need to plan for the kind of climate effects that we know are coming, and they’re here. Because we don’t plan for them, we’re facing these kinds of problems.” Have been what we were expecting.

Even before the storm, it was clear that power lines were weak, Brick and other energy experts have said for years. And instead of building another large power plant – in a flooded area, no less – the city could distribute more flexible sources of renewable energy throughout the city.

Instead, electricity and gas utilities have been fined for delays in maintaining the region’s energy system. The Washington Post. Reports, which can make the grid even weaker when storms come. In a move that has upset many residents, Intergee built a اور 210 million gas-fired power plant in New Orleans that went online last year. The utility said the plant would help turn on the lights in the event of a major storm like Ada.

Government John Bell Edwards, “Virtually no one” had electricity in southeastern Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Said August 30, And residents could be without power for several weeks. Three days after the storm, the ground collapsed, and the plant restored power to “some customers” living nearby, but the grid is still badly damaged to allow electricity to flow easily through the city.

As the blackout continues, residents will. Endure dangerously oppressive heat without air conditioning. They will have difficulty charging their phones and laptops so they can talk to emergency services or loved ones. Water treatment plants lack electricity, many people do not have running water or have boiling water tips. Authorities are concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning as people turn to portable backup generators.

On August 29, 2021, Hurricane Ida in New Orleans caused vehicles to go down Bourbon Street during a citywide power outage.
Photo by Luke Schritz / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The state can do a lot to make its grid more flexible and prevent such blackouts. Adding more renewable energy is one way to make the grid more sustainable and reduce the likelihood of complete failure in disaster. And in the case of Ada, upgrading the transmission lines that serve as the city’s main energy-carrying arteries, as well as the smaller distribution lines that supply energy within the city, further strengthens the grid – an argument that Burke’s alliance pushed it forward. Against plans to build a new gas plant

Across the country, transmission and distribution lines have been urged to be buried to protect them from the elements. Disturbed California utility PG&E was pushed to bury thousands of miles of power lines when the lines above the ground ignited a terrible fire. The same can be done in Louisiana to protect them from severe storms.

“Instead, all the money that Energy is spending is on their gas infrastructure,” says Burke. Interge opened another new gas plant in St. Charles Parish in 2019. On paper, building a new gas plant can have financial implications for companies. Akshiya Jha, an assistant professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, says utility regulation in the United States encourages new investments (such as a new gas plant) to upgrade existing power lines. This is an obstacle to improving transmission and distribution lines across the country.

“Basically we didn’t need the plant. And why are you paying for something we don’t need? It’s just crazy.” Edge Before the storm in Louisiana

Majorities like Hebert were concerned about the high utility bills and air pollution caused by the black and Vietnamese neighborhood residential plant. Consumers and environmental advocates have challenged the New Orleans power station in court for years. Eventually, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the city council’s decision to approve the plant, and it came online last year. This is called a “peak” plant, which extinguishes fires only when the demand for energy is “peak” – or when there is a major supply disruption like a hurricane.

Defending an opinion, Charles Rice, former president and CEO of Enterprise, wrote: It could eliminate transmission lines needed to import electricity. ” Need a new plant on in 2017.

With Ada, the city’s transmission and distribution lines severely damaged, it is not yet clear when Energy will be able to provide electricity to more residents than the plant. In an update posted on Intergee’s website, the utility said it was working to repair power lines and substations. Interji did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Edge. A spokesman for the utility said. The Washington Post. That it spent 4. 4.2 billion on its transmission lines between 2014 and 2019, although it is not clear where that money was spent in the large service area of ​​Interge (which covers several states).

In the short term, repairing the bottom lines is a priority for residents to return the lights. With the backup of these lines, a gas-powered peak plant can provide some of the juice needed. While that may not be enough to supply the entire city, it can. Strengthen critical infrastructure such as hospitals. But it even depends on the plant, which has enough fuel – natural gas – to set itself on fire. It doesn’t seem like a problem for Ida to wake up yet, but it was a big problem earlier this year when a cold wave left millions of Texas without electricity.

Experts say a long-term solution will require more imagination. “Looking to the past to give us an idea of ​​the future is not as good as it used to be,” said Joshua Rhodes, a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin. “Whenever we are changing this infrastructure or rebuilding it, we must take into account the growing threat from a changing climate.”

A recent new UN report says climate change is charging extreme weather events. Tropical Storms are becoming more severe and unpredictable, and will test anything Louisiana’s rebuilding. Meanwhile, older energy systems in the United States were built on fossil fuels that exacerbate the climate crisis. Production of high-temperature greenhouse gases. To control the climate crisis, no. Another UN report, published in May, called for new gas infrastructure.

There are alternatives to fossil fuel plants that can keep lights on in an emergency. As most grids are currently operating, large areas can rely on a single plant. Therefore, if a disaster hits the plant or the lines connecting the houses, the effects are far-reaching. One way to solve this problem is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to reinvent the grid so that renewable energy sources are shut down in communities.

New Orleans is a great example of how this can work. The city already has a lot of residential solar energy. If they were solar panels. Paired with batteries, residents can store energy for emergencies. Batteries are still expensive, so this is something that utilities, regulators and city planners will need to encourage.

“Let’s think of ways to get our money’s worth,” Burke said. “Let’s get to the root of the problem where people live,” she says.

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