Investments slated to improve grid resilience, respond to extreme weather
The president and CEO of American Public Power Association says recent tornadoes and severe weather have highlighted the need for increased grid resilience.
Joy Ditto tells Brownfield some investments in the infrastructure law are dedicated to ensuring cybersecurity and responding to extreme weather.
“It certainly will not prevent a tornado from touching down and damaging infrastructure, but it will enable us to respond very quickly when we can to these types of events,” he says. “We already do a lot of work in our sector to provide mutual aid where we bring in crews of electric workers from across the region and country. But, the more we can shore up and harden our grids from extreme weather events, particularly things like hurricanes and other major storms, then we’ll be able to prevent these outages from happening in the first place as much as possible.”
About $47 billion of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is allocated for resilience.
“This funding will get rolled out in 2022 and beyond—it’s not all going to be immediate,” she says. “…I also think as we do these enhancements that we will be able to provide some additional jobs and work for people who are working on these projects that are being funded at the federal level.”
The American Public Power Association is the national trade association representing 2,000 publicly owned utilities that provide cost-based electricity to 49 million Americans in 49 states.
Audio: Joy Ditto, American Public Power Association