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NH gun-safety advocates advise services, bipartisan laws after deadly shootings; Food banks, pantries address rising food insecurity during winter holidays; Despite cost debate, some MN businesses intrigued by paid-leave law.

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Muslim American leaders in swing states like Michigan threaten to Abandon Biden, VP Harris criticizes greenwashing at COP28, former congresswoman Cheney calls the GOP a "threat," and George Santos is expelled.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Maine Researchers Help Develop Climate Change-Resilient Power Grids

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023   

Researchers at the University of Maine are working to develop a more resilient electric power grid to withstand the growing number of climate change-related weather events.

The goal is to help communities disproportionately impacted by such events build locally controlled microgrids fueled by renewable energy.

Sharon Klein, associate professor of economics at the University of Maine, said rural and remote communities identified as socially vulnerable often face the greatest effects when power lines go down.

"A lot of our northern communities are on that list," Klein pointed out. "Also a lot of the coastal communities who are going to be susceptible to a lot of the sea-level rise and flooding."

Klein noted researchers will also work with communities in Alaska, South Dakota and Puerto Rico to study how local microgrids could better ensure the lights stay on when extreme weather strikes.

Researchers said the key to developing microgrids is to first build strong relationships with communities to ensure their individual needs are met. Klein explained she is working with all of Maine's tribal communities, who have shared the effects they have already faced from climate change, as well as their vision for a more sustainable power grid.

"It's important to me personally that the communities that have not been part of the conversation as much, that they're accessing directly those benefits to transitioning to renewable energy and away from fossil fuels," Klein emphasized.

Klein added researchers and community members express a sense of urgency in ensuring America's aging power grids can withstand climate change. The bulk of America's transmission lines and transformers are at least a quarter-century old and were not designed to withstand the types of extreme weather conditions the U.S. is experiencing today.


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