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Assessing Risk from Cascading Blackouts given Correlated Component Failures

Despite the infrequent occurrence of cascading power failures, their large sizes and enormous social costs mean that they contribute substantially to the overall risk to society from power failures in the grid. Therefore it is important to accurately capture the risk associated with such events. A cascading event may be triggered by a small subset of k components failing simultaneously or in rapid succession. While most prior work, including our own work into an efficient “random chemistry” method for risk analysis, has assumed that components fail independently, this paper proposes a method for deriving correlated outage probabilities such that pairs of branches that are proximate in space are more likely to fail together than distant ones. Combining random chemistry risk analysis with this approach to correlating outages shows that overall blackout risk can increase substantially with even small correlations between component outages. Results of correlated vs. uncorrelated risk estimates are compared for the 2896 branch Polish Grid test case under various loads.

Author(s):

Laurence A. Clarfeld    
University of Vermont
United States

Margaret J. Eppstein    
University of Vermont
United States

Paul D.H. Hines    
University of Vermont
United States

 

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