Energy Foundation Video: “How the Lights Stay On”

Energy Foundation • Posted: Monday, August 13, 2012

Ben Paulos and his colleagues at the Energy Foundation commissioned this video on the integration of wind and solar into the grid. It’s very well done.

Ben’s introduction to the video and the links to the video follow:

Dear friends of the power grid,

We’ve all experienced the serious lack of understanding among policymakers, the press, and the public about how the grid works—especially about how wind and solar can be assimilated. To address that need, the Energy Foundation commissioned a short video that explains, for a non-technical audience, how the interconnected power grid works.

The result is “How the Lights Stay On,” which you can view on YouTube —

We describe the video this way:

Wind power and solar power are the fastest growing sources of electricity in America and worldwide. We need reliable power at all times, so what happens when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine?

This video introduces you to the people who run the electricity grid, the network of power plants and power lines that keep the lights on. It takes you inside the control center for the largest power system in the world and lets utility experts explain how the variability of wind and solar generation can be managed using existing tools and techniques.

The video features interviews with Andy Ott of PJM and former FERC Commissioner Mark Spitzer. It was produced by Marcacci Communications (formerly of EnergyNOW) and narrated by NBC correspondent Brian Mooar.

Please use this video in any way you find helpful—link to it on your web site, incorporate it into presentations, and provide it to reporters as background information for news stories about the grid and renewable energy.

A broadcast quality (HDTV) version for TV and presentation uses is also available for download here. Feel free to use it, but without revisions, please.

Please let me know if you are interested in sharing the video, and whether you have any questions or concerns about it.

Thank you,

Ben Paulos