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What role does a reliable energy grid have on a state's economy? According to Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, it is the difference between success and failure.

In an op-ed column published in the LaCrosse Tribune, Still points to the recent mega-blackout in India as an example of economic development that is literally hurled into the dark when the power grid fails.

"In a global economy with myriad competitive factors, energy reliability matters," Still writes in his op-ed column. "If you're a business owner, especially one with technology systems that require constant uptime, you need to know the power will stay on. That’s not the case in some developing nations, as evidenced by India's mega-blackout, but it’s a selling point for Wisconsin."

Still notes that although Wisconsin has been hit with summer heat waves reaching 100 degrees, its grid has held up and is able to transmit electrical power efficiently.

"With a more efficient transmission system, electrons can flow to where they're needed and the state can tap into energy from elsewhere," he writes. "In a state that must import electrical power to meet all of its needs, that reduces long-term need for costly new plants at home."

Still also predicts that it is unlikely for Wisconsin to experience an equivalent shutdown that paralyzed much of India.

"Fortunately for Wisconsin, a miniature version of India's Black Tuesday is becoming less likely by the year," he writes. "That's thanks to factors that are modernizing the state's electrical power grid - and ensuring greater reliability for residential and business users."


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