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Considering six common types of substation automation systems (SASs), this paper not only performs a quantitative reliability evaluation of different automated industrial substations, but also assesses the impacts of various automated substations on the distribution system reliability. The technique is based on the event-tree methodology, reliability block diagram approach, and the concept-of-expectation method. The proposed approach is applied to the eight basic industrial substation configurations, and quantitative assessment of reliability benefits from the utilization of substation automation is conducted through a range of studies. The results show the value of using a systematic quantitative approach for investigating the effects of automation systems on substation reliability. The main contributions of this paper are: 1) to give explicit formulas for reliability evaluations of the automated industrial substation with arbitrary time duration of the automatic switching operation; 2) to prove the SAS with a faster automatic switching operation has a higher degree of improvement in the substation reliability indices; 3) to provide an effective tool for ranking the most reliable industrial substation configurations in the presence of various SASs; and 4) to quantitatively evaluate the effects of the automated substation with various SASs on distribution reliability indices.