Last year’s Atlantic hurricane season broke records with a total of 30 named storms, 12 of which made landfall in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The storm season’s severity made headlines and garnered significant attention until the tropics settled, the weather cooled and new issues dominated headlines.

But at JOEMC, we did not forget. Our focus on improving the resilience of the electric grid is a year-round effort. We take steps daily to ensure the electric grid can quickly and effectively recover from storms and other threats so our members have the reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity they depend on.

The electric grid has evolved substantially in recent years and will continue to change as new advancements transform the ways co-ops and other utilities transmit power and our members use it. Digital technology is also making an unprecedented level of energy monitoring and communication possible, which ultimately benefits you by alerting us to issues on the grid and enabling tools that allow you to be more aware of your energy use.

On today’s modern grid, power no longer moves in a linear path from cooperative to member. Instead, it includes a wide variety of resources and technologies spread throughout the grid, like a spider web. Many of these distributed energy resources stem directly from members like you, including smart thermostats and water heater controls, residential solar, and even electric vehicles. JOEMC and the state’s other electric cooperatives are also pursuing a range of innovative energy solutions, from microgrids to solar and storage, that further enhance grid flexibility and efficiency.

Using a sophisticated energy management platform, we are carefully coordinating and dispatching these interconnected resources to meet electricity demand and balance traffic on the grid, improving reliability and helping manage costs by offsetting the need to build traditional power plants.

We are also undertaking other measures that increase grid resilience and strengthen our infrastructure against storms, including physical enhancements and the introduction of system redundancies that help prevent outages from occurring. These include a commitment to system-wide maintenance of our substations and distribution lines as well as our focused efforts on maintaining a clear right-of-way.

All of these efforts are part of our ongoing commitment to building a brighter future for the people, businesses and communities we serve. To learn more about the electric grid and how we prepare for and respond to storms, visit joemc.com.