Environment & Sustainability

How Do You Prepare the Grid for Climate Threats?

Large powerlines in a rural farm setting. Exponent helps stakeholders explore safer, more efficient and alternative energy solutions.

Leveraging Data to Drive Decision-Making

A new mandate in California requires all investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to develop robust climate adaptation planning in a time of worsening climate impacts to ensure the safety and reliability of IOUs' services.

The Challenge

Southern California Edison (SCE), the primary electricity provider across much of Southern and Eastern California with a territory of 50,000+ square miles and 15M+ customers, turned to Exponent to assess potential short- and long-term threats to their expansive electric infrastructure due to impacts of climate change. Exponent helped SCE perform the first climate adaptation and vulnerability assessment (CAVA), as required by state regulatory mandate, to develop both short- and long-term strategies to mitigate the impacts of various climate threats to their operations and services.

Exponent's Multidisciplinary Solution

How do you transform traditional risk management and create a first-of-
its-kind, performance-based engineering framework that can guide
future decision-making?

Exponent's impact

Exponent's quantitative analysis allowed SCE to go beyond traditional ranking systems for risk analysis and is providing a model for other utilities to help protect the future of California and its most at-risk populations.

By quantifying the vulnerability of assets that could affect the electric system by considering impacts of various climate hazards, the framework provides insights into different risk and failure scenarios, which are becoming more likely as climate change intensifies. This facilitates climate risk informed decision-making for short- and long-term strategic capital investment prioritization. SCE is combining Exponent's report with socioeconomic data to ensure that impacts to disadvantaged and vulnerable communities are considered in the development and selection of mitigation strategies.