By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia is dotted with rural communities that have struggled to secure affordable, reliable power, especially during extreme weather events poised to become more frequent as climate change worsens.
The state had the highest total number of electric power outages and percentage of outages among customers throughout the country for most of the week that followed ice storms that caused power grids across the country to fail in February 2021.
A 2012 derecho left 1.6 million West Virginians without power, some for two weeks. The state’s increase in outage length and frequency throughout the 2010s outpaced a national rise in those categories, according to federal Energy Information Administration data.
American Electric Power and FirstEnergy subsidiaries responsible for most of the electric power in the state have said that tree-related outages drive West Virginia’s high prevalence of power interruptions, including rainfall and storm-caused tree uprooting and hillside erosion…
To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/energy_and_environment/feds-take-input-on-1-billion-program-for-rural-energy-upgrades-including-microgrids-eyed-for/article_3a43ab3d-15ee-590f-be0d-592b43a65fc6.html