Fellows in the News

The impulse to help rebuild Puerto Rico — an often neglected corner of the nation that has struggled after the storm — has rippled through many corners of America. But in the world of electricity research, which has staked out a place of geeky global dominance here on the West Coast, an equally powerful idea about the island has resonated: It is a chance to work on a blank canvas.

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In the same way, electricity experts said, the work in Puerto Rico promises to be useful in helping other regions prepare their power systems for major disasters like hurricanes, blizzards or earthquakes, and to emerge from them both more resilient and more climate friendly.

“Lots of utilities, including Washington utilities, are going through identity crises,” said Reed Schuler, a senior adviser to Governor Inslee on climate issues. “They’re looking at how drastically different the needs of the future are from the needs of the recent past.”

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