Rethinking electric power, prompted by politics and disaster

Hybrid buses at the King County Metro yard in Tukwila, Wash. The agency, which serves Seattle, has been a leader in electrifying its fleet. /Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

By Kirk Johnson | The New York Times

Lilo Danielle Pozzo, who teaches chemical engineering at the University of Washington, grew up in Puerto Rico. So when Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September, it felt, she said, like a perfect alignment of needs and expertise: Professor Pozzo studies batteries and electrical storage systems at the university’s Clean Energy Institute, and Puerto Rico, a place she loves, had just seen its power grid destroyed.

She led a team from the institute to a remote mountain community called Jayuya that was still completely without power two months after the disaster. “We want to see what we can contribute,” she said.



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