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The nation’s electric grid is an increasingly sophisticated network of components, such as transformers, digital switches and technologies that work in unison to provide reliable power. When one part of the grid isn’t functioning properly, a loss of power can occur. Whenever that happens, no matter the cause, customers expect us to restore service as quickly as possible. Failure to do so can lead to political, economic, regulatory and social implications for communities, customers and for us that can be far worse than any damage to the system itself.

Reliability refers to our ability to provide energy so that it is available upon demand. To be reliable, we must prevent outages to the extent we can and restore power as safely and efficiently as we can if it does go out. Security refers to our capacity to protect the supply of energy – under any circumstances – from external and internal interruptions. Our ability to secure energy and deliver power reliably depends upon a mix of regulatory, economic, environmental and social factors.

Operating and maintaining the electric grid is more complex than ever. We are faced with a number of significant challenges that affect our ability to maintain the existing system while also upgrading the system for the future. These challenges include an aging system, the threat of external disruption, the need for additional capacity, the difficulty of siting new facilities, and new and more challenging environmental regulations. We also have to figure out how to pay for these investments.



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