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Failure to invest in smart grid substations leaves U.S. energy supply increasingly vulnerable

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, May 13, 2011

The U.S. electrical grid serves as one of the biggest engineering achievements of the 20th century. The electrical grid has more than 160,000 miles of transmission lines and distributes power throughout the country. According to a recently published report, investment into the upgrading of substations and other transmission sites in the smart grid is critically important.

The Silver City Sun-News reports that New Mexico recently moved to upgrade a substation on the smart grid, knocking out service to certain residents of the state for more than seven hours. The interruption in service is ultimately, however, a positive move for consumers, industry watchers assert.

Without substantial investment into substation upgrades, U.S. residents could experience blackouts and other disruptions in their supply of energy as the aging infrastructure was not designed to accommodate the boom in the U.S. population.

What's more, the smart grid has become more vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks, analysts assert, as it lags behind in its adoption of cutting-edge technologies. By improving the smart grid's substations, utilities will be better equipped to effectively monitor the nation's electricity supply.

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