In the middle of a heat wave, around 5 p.m. when people begin arriving home from work and electricity demand spikes, a power outage often follows suit. But what if there were a way to prevent demand-driven blackouts without spending billions of dollars? That sort of electric grid silver bullet exists, it turns out, and it’s called demand response.
When the Iowa Department of Transportation announced in 2011 that it would replace a state-owned bridge near the rural town of Council Bluffs, residents braced for the projected six-month project and the 14-mile traffic detour that would accompany it. Yet a mere 14 days later, a new bridge had already been installed.
With metropolitan areas across the United States continuing to pick up new residents, local officials are working to upgrade infrastructure to ensure it’s equipped to handle quickly rising demand. Certain cities are outpacing others in this modernization race, which is already yielding far-reaching economic and political repercussions, a new study conducted by George Washington University concluded.
With more than 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission cables, the U.S. electric grid is a sprawling system that represents one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century. Yet, after decades of ostensible neglect, it is showing its age, worrying experts and policymakers alike.
You don’t know her, but Jane is just like you. Every morning, after she wakes up, she turns on her lights, brushes her teeth, takes a shower, texts from her phone, and uses public transportation to get to work.
Sounds a lot like your morning routine, right?
Written out in giant, white letters across the Santa Monica Mountains, Hollywood has been synonymous with the film industry since the early 20th century. An unlikely rival, however, has emerged as a formidable player in the industry.
When Zach Ware first moved to downtown Las Vegas a few years ago, he hired a car service for a week as an experiment.
“I wanted to know, what would life be like if transportation were a sunk cost?” said the 32-year-old founder and CEO of Project 100, a startup aimed at disrupting the way people move in cities.
Last fall, Dan McNichol, author and infrastructure expert, packed up a beat-up 1949 Hudson and hit the road for his Dire States tour. When we caught up with McNichol during his tour-ending stop in Washington, D.C., he shared with us what motivated him to drive across the country and back, what he saw, and what he learned.
When discussions began nearly a decade ago in Denver of creating a modernized transit system to address the metropolitan area's sprawling growth, the business community braced for the kind of divisive debate that can derail major infrastructure projects.
But then something surprising happened. Local businesses, developers, environmentalists, residents and their elected officials got together and worked through their differences to create the conditions necessary to build a rail network that has brought widespread benefits to the Mile High City.