“Super Grids” to the Rescue: Harnessing Sun and Wind Against Caribbean Hurricanes

Researchers have developed a model for “super grids” to sustain electricity in the Caribbean during hurricanes, exploring interconnected grid systems to offset the impact of...

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ORNL researchers modeled how hurricane cloud cover would affect solar energy generation as a storm followed 10 possible trajectories over the Caribbean and Southern U.S. Credit: Andy Sproles/ ORNL, U.

S. Dept. of Energy Researchers have developed a model for “super grids” to sustain electricity in the Caribbean during hurricanes, exploring interconnected grid systems to offset the impact of reduced solar power.



This initiative aims to enhance energy reliability and resilience in the face of frequent storms. When hurricanes threaten tropical shores, “super grids” could come to the rescue. Caribbean islands are starting to shift away from importing expensive fossil fuels, using instead their own abundant sun and wind to make electricity.

However, their frequent hurricanes can put a damper on solar energy generation. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a comprehensive modeling method to better predict the drop in electricity generation when these storm clouds overshadow solar panels. The team explored ways to compensate for these energy losses with super grids, a collection of grids connected so electricity can flow across island chains or between continents.

Lead researcher Rodney Itiki said this kind of infrastructure planning is crucial to maintaining equitable access to electricity in the Caribbean’s 12 island countries and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.

S. Virgin Islands. The historically underserved is.