The establishment of microgrids for the electrical infrastructure helps to sustain the ability of a community to bounce-back after a disaster by mitigating the impacts of wide-spread power outages and hardening critical infrastructure to better withstand and recover from disasters. Power outages are also one of the largest contributors to indirect deaths from hurricanes and other disaster events and can have repercussions on both the health and mental health of those affected by disasters. ComEd has been investing in micro grid and smart city initiatives to build disaster resilience in communities.
The impact of microgrids and smart energy solutions has wide reaching impacts on disaster resilience. Yet, full understanding and articulation of this potential has been isolated to a few esoteric fields of engineering and disaster science. ComEd and NCDP have been collaborating since December 2019 to present a series of thought leadership pieces that address the role of energy utilities in fostering resilience to climate change and related disasters. The work will result in publicly disseminated and/or peer reviewed articles on the topics of climate change — both the threats presented by it and the adaptations moving towards resilience, and the future development of technologies and the energy sector workforce. Additionally, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been some crossover to address the role of energy utilities in a public health disaster especially.