Podcast: Are You Prepared for a Hyper-Complex Energy Grid?

Podcast: Are You Prepared for a Hyper-Complex Energy Grid?

May 7, 2024
TDI Energy Solutions' Brian Reinke talks about the changes and challenges affecting the electric grid in this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast.

Brian Reinke is president of TDI Energy Solutions, a company that offers energy cost-saving products and services that are designed to help clients be more efficient and profitable. Brian founded the company after 20 years in the IT industry with the goal of helping customers through the maze of energy use and cost reduction. Brian recently spoke with Robert Brooks, editor-in-chief of America Machinist, about manufacturers’ anxiety over sources and availability of electric power.

Below is an excerpt from the podcast:

AM: You know, when you and I were first introduced, it was in the context of users’ demand. And you helped me to understand very well how independent manufacturers can make themselves more self-sufficient and less dependent on the variabilities here. And that had a lot to do with the commercial availability that utilities would have. They would give manufacturers, you know, off-peak rates and various types of arrangements. But lately, and for several years, you've been stressing the need for manufacturers to secure and manage their electricity supplies. But now, what we're being presented with is a situation that's even worse than people could have imagined. And you've described it to me as a hyper-complex risk environment. So, could you bring us to that point and why did you call it that?

BR: I actually stole that phrase from the head of NERC, the North American Energy Reliability Corporation. They've been beating that drum for a while now, several years. They do reliability forecast assessments to see, for the next several years, if their resources will be able to meet the anticipated demand. I ran across that phrase when I found a presentation that Jim Robb, NERC president and CEO, gave at a Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) meeting. And he brought that up. He said in the presentation to MISO, “Present day, the electric sector risk environment has rapidly evolved and is hyper-complex, stemming from grid transformation, increasingly frequent extreme weather systems, escalating physical and cyber security threats.” And I just want to cover the categories that he had brought up.

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