Learning from how utilities and their equipment have fared in different earthquakes across the globe is the best way to prepare for the future. Assessing the results and the response from power companies all over the world is one of the key jobs of Dr. Leon Kempner, Principal Civil Engineer for Bonneville Power Administration and the industry-leading expert on preparing the power sector for major events like earthquakes. And one of the utilities that has regularly retained the unparalleled insights of Dr. Kempner is Central Lincoln PUD. Specifically, Shamus Gamache, the utility's Director of Engineering, has worked regularly with Dr. Kempner to prepare the Oregon utility to be prepared for the persistent threat of earthquakes and tsunamis off the U.S. West Coast.
Dr. Kempner and Gamache join the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast to help fellow utility professionals prepare to handle the 'big one' that may always be a day away. In traveling the world to learn how global utilities best prepare and recover from such major earthquake events, Dr. Kempner shared the following:
"When we first started looking at the subduction zone, and through our grid hazard assessments, looking at the damage levels, you just start to wonder whether you can survive this type of event. But if you do look towards Japan, and you look towards Chile, they do survive this event. But again, they've been preparing for it by experiencing those. When you experience something, hopefully, you learn from it and you implement what you learned. Obviously, though, you don't always catch it all. So the next event, you learn some more. One of the things we learned by going to Japan and Chile is you can survive these events. They're survivable, but you need to get prepared, you need to design for it."
This entry into the podcasts, like all of the series episodes, can be found on all major podcast outlets, including iTunes and Spotify, or it can be listened to directly on the Energy Central platform (where we also feature a written transcription if you'd prefer to read). Give it a listen and share your reaction in the comments.
Episode #102: 'The “Big One” is Coming—Is Your Utility Ready?' with Shamus Gamache, Central Lincoln PUD, and Dr. Leon Kempner, BPA [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast]
About Energy Central Podcast Series:
The 'Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast' Series features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. At least twice monthly, we'll connect with a Power Industry Leader to discuss compelling topics that impact utility professionals. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community by an Energy Central Community Member. Others may be with an industry leader interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.
If you want to be a guest on a future episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast, let us know! We'll be pulling guests from our community members who submit engaging content that gets our community talking, and perhaps that next guest will be you! Likewise, if you see an article submitted by a fellow Energy Central community member that you'd like to hear about in more detail, feel free to send us a note to nominate them. To contact us, email email@example.com. Podcast interviews are free for Expert Members and professionals who work for a utility. We have package offers available for solution providers and vendors.