The US power grid is, by some estimates, the largest machine in the world, a continent-spanning wonder of the modern age. And despite its occasional well-publicized failures, it is remarkably reliable, delivering energy to almost every American, almost every second of every day.
This is an especially remarkable accomplishment given that, until very recently, almost none of that power could be stored. It all has to be generated, sent over miles of wires, and delivered to end users at the exact second they need it, in a perfectly synchronized dance.
Given the millions of Americans, their billions of electrical devices, and the thousands of miles of electrical wires involved, well, it’s downright amazing.
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Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt., by David Roberts, Vox, December 27, 2018.