Michigan Technological University resides in the Keweenaw, a part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that gets more than 200 inches of snow every winter. Michigan Tech researchers—engineers, sociologists, computer scientists—study renewable energy grids, their strengths and weaknesses, community resilience and impact of energy technologies.
The snowstorms and blackouts in Texas, including recent assertations that renewable energies are to blame, highlight the need to discuss and plan for better electrical grids, which has been an ongoing conversation within Keweenaw communities. A group of them specifically studied grid resilience with solar power and how military bases outfitted with renewable energy generation could prevent regional blackouts.
Michigan Tech experts can speak to different aspects of renewable energy and its impacts:
- Joshua Pearce : engineer focusing on solar power including the most cited studies on the impacts of snow and solar power in the northern US and Canada
- Roman Sidortsov : policy expert in energy resource extraction and generation, including an understanding of the complications of power generation and weather interactions in many countries including the U.S., Russia, Nordic regions and Britain
- Chee-Wooi Ten : electrical engineer of power systems including substation cybersecurity, smart home technologies and critical infrastructure failures
As they all live in a community that has adapted to major lake-effect snowstorms and deals with regular power outages, the experts have a unique perspective that blends their lived experiences with their research.