Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Squirrels: A Threat to The Electrical Grid?

While not trying to underplay the potential for problems from other sources for the US electrical grid, it is sort of interesting to see quotes like the following about the role squirrels play in disrupting power resources:

"I don't think paralysis [of the electrical grid] is more likely by cyberattack than by natural disaster. And frankly the number-one threat experienced to date by the US electrical grid is squirrels." - John C. Inglis, Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency 2015.07.0

The somewhat tongue-in-cheek group Cyber Squirrels have mapped the disruptions of the power grid by animals, primarily squirrels, over the last 30 or so years. Here is a screen shot of the NYS map. Note that the one dead center in the state is from a squirrel "attack" on the power grid near Utica College in 2015.

You can visit the Cyber Squirrel webpage to see other places where animals have contributed to power outages.