A July 30 news update regarding the dump truck at Elkhorn Road and Highway 75 hitting the power pole and taking out two poles and the power for 1,400 residents for several hours importantly highlights the vulnerability of the electricity grid we rely on to keep our local economy going and our homes warm in the winter. The article shared that “the Ketchum Fire Department also responded to the scene, as sparks flew when the power poles fell,” recalling the destructive and most deadly fire in California history, the Camp Fire, caused by sparks from the now bankrupt electric utility’s power lines.
Let’s take this relatively small incident as a reminder to prioritize the increased security of our local grid. Let’s develop local power to back up our critical loads including medical, fire, police and communications, with solutions including solar, with storage and microgrid systems that can increase our security in a way that will reduce our risks and create quality local jobs in clean energy, a rapidly growing industry.
Aimee Christensen, Founder and executive director, Sun Valley Institute, A Center for Resilience