OSU to Study Large Earthquake Effects on Power Grid

In the event of a large Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, nobody currently understands what exactly will happen to the electrical grid in our region – but that could change. Oregon State University has just received a $433,792 grant from the National Science foundation to study the matter.

“At a time that scientists are sounding the alarm about the potential for a devastating earthquake to one day hit Oregon and the entire West Coast, it’s vital to understand the risks of a quake of that magnitude, especially the possible effects on the electrical grid that keeps everything running,” Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said in a press release.  “The more information we can gather ahead of time, the more local communities can prepare to respond in the face of disaster. I’m grateful that Oregon State University earned this award to continue its critical research.”

Oregon’s Sen. Jeff Merkley, added “Oregonians, particularly in coastal communities, have long been preparing for the inevitability of a significant earthquake—including the risk to our power grid.”

The start date is September 15 of this year, and completion is anticipated for at the end of August, next year. The lead investigator will be Prof. Ted Brekken, who will be joined by co-investigators: Armin Stuedlein, Michael Olsen,  and Eduardo Cotilla-Sanchez.

By Andy Thompson