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Draft!07"18"2011! 1 Turning the Tide on Outages1
 

Summary: !
Draft!07"18"2011! 1
Turning the Tide on Outages1
What are the true costs of implementing -- or failing to implement --
a stronger, smarter and more robust grid
!
Approaching!a!month!during!which!the!nation!will!observe!the!8th!anniversary!of!the!August!2003!Blackout!
(over!50!million!consumers!affected!and!more!than!$6!billions!in!losses),!the!6th!anniversary!of!Hurricane!
Katrina!(more!than!1800!deaths!and!over!$150!billion!in!economic!losses),!and!the!August!1,!2007!collapse!of!
the!I"35W!bridge!in!Minneapolis!(killing!13!and!disrupting!traffic!and!the!local!economy!for!a!year),!in!addition!
to!the!hundreds!of!black"outs,!water!main!breaks!and!daily!traffic!gridlocks,!have!stimulated!growing!public!
awareness!of!the!necessity!for!accelerated!programs!of!replacement,!rehabilitation!and!new!investment!in!the!
U.S.!infrastructure.!
!
Focusing!on!the!electric!power!sector,!the!power!outages!and!power!quality!disturbances!cost!the!U.S.!
economy!over!$80!billion!annually,!and!up!to!$188!billion!per!year.!Transmission!and!distribution!losses!in!the!
U.S.!were!about!5%!in!1970,!and!grew!to!9.5%!in!2001,!due!to!heavier!utilization!and!more!frequent!
congestion.!!Regarding!the!former,!starting!in!1995,!the!amortization/!depreciation!rate!exceeded!utility!
construction!expenditures.!Since!that!crossover!point!in!1995,!utility!construction!expenditures!have!lagged!
behind!asset!depreciation.!This!has!resulted!in!a!mode!of!operation!of!the!system!that!is!analogous!to!

  

Source: Amin, S. Massoud - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota

 

Collections: Power Transmission, Distribution and Plants