All Things DER: How NOAA Helps Utility Companies Better Understand Risks for the Future

by Dr. Elizabeth Cook, General Manager of Advanced Grid Solutions, Duquesne Light Company

Welcome to the All Things DER podcast! In this podcast, we’ll be digging in, defining, and discussing where the new energy economy is heading with electric industry leaders, and explore all the ways that distributed energy resources can modernize and improve our ever-evolving power grid.

In today’s episode, we’re talking with Dr Sarah Kapnick, the Chief Scientist of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). We discuss the importance of utilizing climate and weather data when planning grid assets while also making intelligent use of the currently available data to better mitigate risks. From how to access the data to the predicted rate of reliability, we dig into a variety of ways utility companies can capitalize on this publicly available resource to better serve their shareholders and customers while creating a greener energy economy.

Here’s what you’ll discover:

  • How NOAA provides foundational climate and weather information for businesses, like utility companies, to use to understand risks for the future
  • How reliability and resiliency are connected and why the key difference between them matters when it comes to extreme weather events
  • Why historical weather information is beneficial in making key physical asset decisions, such as where to place transformers
  • How aged infrastructure provides an opportunity to build in resilience for climate adaptation sooner than expected
  • Why intelligently capitalizing on the publicly available climate data currently available can save money and resources over time
  • How utilizing data and machine learning can shift the perspective from a reactive to a proactive approach
  • Why engaging with groups like AEIC is critical for NOAA to make sure people and organizations are aware of the information and data currently available