This Is Sooo Cool!

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Superconductor power transmission lines on Long Island! (get it? “Soo Cool”). They are in the preliminary stages of implementing this technology. Ever since the East Coast blackout of 2003, I have been harping  that our national power grid, designed in the 1920’s, is becoming woefully outdated, and we are stretching its capacity to the limits. California has been able to avoid more blackouts since the Enron induced power failures of 1999 through 2001, but the “Flex Alert” strategy will only get us so far. It’s nice to finally see some investment to modernize the system. It would take years, maybe decades, to replace the old infrastructure, and the technology is pricey, but the CEO of American Superconductor, Greg Yurek, states:

… in the long run, the cost of superconductor transmission cables will be below that of adding new aboveground copper power lines. A single superconductor running underground can take the place of a nest of conventional copper lines strung overhead. The cables at the Long Island site enter the ground through a right of way not much wider than 1 meter.

Of course, California governance is so dyfunctional, we’ll probably never see this tech implimented here. And the enviros would certainly find some reason to block it.

PS. I was born on Long Island, so I feel I have some connection to this story.

Hat Tip: Slashdot.