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Tuesday, May 24 at 8 p.m. – Beyond the Light Switch

(Rochester, NY) – Join WXXI on an enlightening and comprehensive journey into the inner workings of the electrical power infrastructure that exists today in Beyond the Light Switch. The film premieres on Tuesday, May 24 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11). Guided by an independent advisory panel, the film illustrates electrical power is rapidly evolving into a whole new paradigm in the electric power generation.

A decade into the 21st Century and America already faces a challenge equal to the mobilization of World War II...the complete transformation of our entire electrical infrastructure. So what is the right way forward? Coal? Natural gas? Renewables? Nuclear? Or a super grid? Which gives us the most bang for our buck? Which path achieves all our goals while creating jobs and gaining a measure of energy security?

Let’s look at this incredibly simplified equation: By 2050, the United States must:

  • Replace most of our electric power generation fleet
  • Cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80%
  • Completely update our power grid

So what's the catch? All of this must happen while demand for electricity is expected to rise by 30%.

While the future of the United States' energy economy remains uncertain, many difficult decisions will soon need to be made. The documentary explores the possible paths forward including coal, natural gas, renewables, natural gas, solar, the “super grid” and others to determine what achieves the goals, creates jobs and gains a measure of energy security. Woven throughout each episode of Beyond the Light Switch is a provocative story structure focused on:

  • Leveraging innovative electricity generation and distribution technologies into a new economic driver for the U.S.
  • Weaning the U.S. from a disproportionate reliance on foreign sources of fuel and electricity
  • Knowing that future electricity generation on a global scale must take Climate Change into consideration as new technologies and policies are developed and implemented

By drawing together the most knowledgeable sources and asking the tough questions, Beyond the Light Switch provides a much needed balanced perspective to the critical issues surrounding the future of energy in the United States.


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.