Watch: A conversation on U.S. energy reliability
The big picture: On Tuesday, September 26, in New Orleans, Louisiana Axios reporters Chelsea Brasted and Carlie Kollath Wells hosted conversations about the need to modernize the power grid, accelerate the clean energy transition and improve energy reliability and resilience.
- Guests included New Orleans City Council president JP Morrell, United Way of Southeast Louisiana president & CEO Michael Williamson and The Beach at UNO president & CEO Rebecca Conwell.
JP Morrell explained how grid resilience in New Orleans has been impacted by extreme weather events like Hurricanes Katrina and Ida.
- On the state of reliability within the New Orleans power grid today: "I think that the power grid is a work in progress … I think post-Katrina, post-Ida, there really has been a reckoning that across the entire state of Louisiana, our grid is just not as resilient as it could be."
Rebecca Conwell highlighted recent developments in renewable energy sources like wind energy and why New Orleans is well positioned to lead the way in implementation.
- On New Orleans' growing commitment to offshore wind: "We have existing infrastructure around oil and gas, so we know how to do that, and when you're talking about offshore wind turbines, it's the same skill sets and the same assets. But then when you throw on top of that the announcement that we have hundreds of thousands of federal and state waters that's going to be released for offshore wind development, you just changed the conversation from a national and international conversation to our front door."
Michael Williamson discussed how costs associated with power outages and extreme weather events have collateral effects on communities' wellbeing.
- On the economic repercussions of natural disasters: "If there's a power outage, especially in a disaster or after a crisis…if you lose the items in your fridge, you have to replace them, that could be a substantial cost."
In the View from the Top sponsored segment, Drew Marsh emphasized how the needs of the power grid today have evolved since the infrastructure was first put in place decades ago.
- "Nowadays, all that is completely changed. The expectations for the grid are very, very different. But most of the infrastructure that was put in place was put in place at a different time, and era."
Thank you to Entergy for sponsoring this event.