In 2003, a power line near Cleveland, Ohio sagged into a tree and shorted out. It started a cascade of failures across the Midwest, Northeast and parts of Canada, causing the worst blackout in U.S. history. Since then, utilities and grid operators have implemented new technology and procedures to guard against another major blackout. But the number of smaller power outages has doubled in recent years, costing the economy about $180 billion a year, according to University of Minnesota engineering professor and power grid expert Massoud Amin .
Anchor Thalia Assuras looks at cutting-edge technology that can prevent blackouts before they occur, efforts by the federal government to create a safer and smarter grid, and goes inside the high-tech nerve center of the country's largest grid operator to see how we're guarding our aging grid.