Today’s Grid: A System Under Pressure

Ambassador Greg Reed and John Swanson, founder of ANSYS, Incand a member of the National Academy of Engineering, kicked off Washington & Jefferson College’s 2015-2016 Energy Lecture Series with a look at why we need to modernize our energy infrastructure, and what the grid of the future might look like.

“Today’s Grid: A System Under Pressure”  showed how the existing electric power grid would be recognizable to George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla, who designed it over a century ago, and examined how new technologies and 21st Century infrastructure needs are upending that legacy-based system.

Dr. Swanson laid a vision for what embracing these changes may look like. Starting from his Green Key Village Project, a 142-unit community of net-zero homes that generate energy on-site from rooftop solar-electric panels in Lady Lake, Florida, he talked about how solar panels, wind turbines, electric cars, and storage can be integrated into net-zero communities — and what the economics of it look like.


“Today’s Grid: A System Under Pressure” is the first of four events in the “Grid Academy” series, which explores the challenges and opportunities the U.S. faces in adapting its electric power system to meet changing demands, technologies, business models, and threats. The program was presented by the Science & Engineering Ambassadors Program in partnership with the Washington & Jefferson College Center for Energy Policy & Management.

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