The U.S. electric grid – or the massive power flow throughout the country – is supported by only a small number of America’s substations. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reports that the country is vulnerable to a coast-to-coast blackout if only nine of the country’s 55,000 electric-transmission substations are disabled by sabotage, extreme weather or a cyberattack.
A Lack of Protection
The electrical grid is a critical infrastructure, but there are no federal rules or protections for these substations, which leaves America’s electrical infrastructure even more vulnerable to blackout. For example, Silicon Valley was dangerously close to experiencing a blackout after a 2013 sniper attack on Pacific Gas and Electric’s Metcalf substation in Coyote, California. The attack lasted less than 20 minutes but critically damaged 17 of the 21 transformers. It took utility workers weeks to repair this damage. The attackers methodically fired at the equipment, aiming at the cooling fins, until just before police arrived at the scene.
In addition to physical attacks like those that took place at the Metcalf substation, other threats to the grid include natural disasters and cyberattack threats, none of which the U.S. is fully equipped to handle. Many experts worry that cyber warfare could easily cause massive destruction to the grid by setting off cascading blackouts across the country.
Who Is a Threat?
Russia has proven their ability to cripple Ukraine’s electrical grid with their cyberattack in 2015 that left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity. Some experts worry that America will be hit with a similar attack from abroad in the near future. But we have had home-grown terrorists attack the grid as well. For example, a blackout in Utah was triggered by an American who shot a transformer in 2016 in an act of eco-terrorism. In 2020, the FBI uncovered a “lights out” plot by a white supremacist group. Experts report that there have been over 700 physical attacks against the U.S. electric grid in the past decade.
Off-Grid Power Solutions
Few Americans are prepared to power the things they need without the grid, a vulnerability that was harshly exposed during the deep freeze and power grid failure that took place in Texas in early 2022. Many people today are choosing to add their own layer of protection to their homes with portable generators or solar panels in the event of an electrical sabotage or an extreme weather event.
As power solutions continue to evolve, we at The Inverter Store are pleased to offer our customers the protection, freedom and control that comes from using off-grid power sources. From beginner-friendly, pre-designed solar power kits, to a complete line of power inverters, to inverter chargers, batteries, accessories, custom-cut cables, converters, generators and more, we can help you find your customized power solution.
The Inverter Store can help you untie yourself from the grid for a weekend getaway, help you choose a foldable solar panel for easy transport, or even help you protect your family in the event of a grid failure. Check out solar inverter kits for off-grid solar systems and much more here at The Inverter Store.
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