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Technology Planning for Electric Power Supply in Critical Events Considering a Bulk Grid, Backup Power Plants, and Micro-Grids

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1 Author(s)
Alexis Kwasinski ; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

This paper discusses a risk assessment approach to infrastructure technology planning aimed at improving power supply resiliency to natural disasters or other critical events. Cost as well as power supply availability are both fundamental decision factors considered in the study. The proposed planning process spans three phases during which the critical loads under study are subject to the effects of the extreme event: during the event, the immediate aftermath until potential infrastructure damage is repaired, and the long term aftermath until the load has recovered the same level existing before the critical event. The combined risk of these three phases is calculated considering likelihood of the critical event to occur, expected impact, and system vulnerability. This risk is then added to the system capital and normal operational costs to yield a lifetime cost that is used to compare technological options. Micro-grids are identified as a relevant technology with potential to achieve enhanced power supply during critical events. The analysis provides indications on how to better configure micro-grids in order to achieve high availability through diverse local distributed generation sources.

Published in:

IEEE Systems Journal  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 2 )