Gusty winds knock down power lines and spark wildfires. Vegetation surrounding the substations catch fire. Severe winter storms cause mayhem at substations, bringing freezing conditions to regions with infrastructure not built to withstand frigid temperatures. And these threats are expected to worsen as the number of severe weather events continue to climb due to climate change.
But the risks posed by nature don’t end with natural disasters. Wildlife also poses a significant threat to power grids, experts told ABC News.
“Animals also play a role in the reliability of the overall power system,” Drew McGuire, the director of substations, distribution and environment research at the Electric Power Research Institute, a non-profit energy research and development organization, told ABC News. “We typically see this in distribution in the lower voltages that you would typically see in neighborhoods and things like that in in substations.”
One of the biggest ways animals disrupt the flow of electricity to households is by breaking into electrical substations, Luis Puigcerver, a senior product manager for wildlife and asset protection at TE Connectivity, a technology company that designs and manufactures connectors and sensors, told ABC News.
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