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Impacts of Extreme Events


on Transmission and Distribution Systems
R. Entriken, Senior Member, IEEE, R. Lordan

information on natural events and their impacts, based on the


Abstract-- Extreme events, such as Hurricane Katrina, latest findings of research around the world. Second, utilities
resulted in widespread damage to the power infrastructure and can conduct self-assessments to understand their short-term
caused severe outages that affected millions of customers over a priorities for further investigation by screening their own
period of days. Lessons learned from such events highlight the
systems for susceptibilities to changing events. This due
importance of improving certain utility design practices and
emergency preparedness. This paper examines the impacts of diligence, using referenced studies and techniques as a guide
extreme weather events, including weather-related impacts on should help utilities prepare answers for questions now being
transmission and distribution systems and restoration from raised about business risks, preparedness, and sustainability
floods, winter storms, windstorms, and hurricanes. The paper efforts.
discusses the effects of heat waves and dry spells on thermal The state of science on extreme weather impacts on the
power plants. It synthesizes utility experiences from different
electric power industry is being extended with regional
storms faced around the globe and includes both lessons learned
from actual events as well as EPRI recommendations. studies, accumulation of knowledge about sensitive
components and systems, and the development of analytical
Index Terms—Power system planning, Risk analysis, Power frameworks. The following assembles the latest knowledge
transmission, Power distribution, Electromagnetic compatibility about historic weather trends, weather impacts on power
and interference systems, and risk accounting and analysis for regional studies.
The summary section reviews the state of knowledge and the
I. INTRODUCTION research needs in load forecasting; generation, transmission,

T HE transmission and distribution planning community


realizes they may prove well-served by investigative
research to increase understanding of the potential impacts of
and distribution; and electricity supply planning.

II. UNDERSTANDING EXTREME WEATHER


extreme events on relatively vulnerable components of the This section outlines some key climate variables that may
electricity system. affect the energy sector, including long-term trends such as
This report examines actions that electric utilities could increases in air temperature, water temperatures, and sea-level
undertake to help them increase their resilience to the impacts rise; changes in precipitation; and decreases in snowpack.
of extreme events, like weather. These could include impacts Long-term trends are climatic variables that change slowly
on the supply of, and demand for, electricity. Consideration over time. They are unlikely to require sudden or short-term
of potential impacts in the long-term planning process may action by utilities. Instead, utilities can understand these
enhance the industry’s resiliency as potential impacts occur. climatic variables and integrate them into planning efforts to
As an example, extreme weather is relative. It is relative to ensure that they do not cause significant operational or
both the historical record and to the regional design basis used financial problems in the future.
for building public infrastructure. Since power systems have This section also covers changes in extreme events such as
been built to successfully operate in extreme weather of all heat waves, cold snaps, minimum winter and maximum
kinds, the main contributions to be made in this paper are to summer temperatures, severe storms, hurricanes, droughts,
enumerate the forms of the extremes, what impacts they can and wildfires. Extreme events are climatic variables that have
have, and how changes and uncertainties inherent in them can sudden and sometimes destructive impacts. Although most of
be incorporated into planning. the extreme events discussed here already affect electric
It is likely that utilities with preparing for significant utilities to some extent, this paper explores what the literature
weather events will benefit from this collection of knowledge, states on changes in the frequency or severity of such events.
first because of the exhaustive nature of the background The nature of extreme events often requires that utilities take
sudden or short-term action. In addition to preparing for the
This work was supported in part by the Electric Power Research Institute, expected frequency and severity of the extreme events,
Program 172. utilities can integrate projections of extreme events into
R. Entriken is with Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA planning efforts to minimize potential service delivery
94304 USA (e-mail: rentrike@epri.com).
R. Lordan is with Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA 94304
disruption. Nonetheless, it is more of a challenge to plan for
USA (e-mail: rlordan@epri.com). changes in infrequent but potentially severe events as opposed

978-1-4673-2729-9/12/$31.00 ©2012 IEEE


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to long-term but gradual changes. For each of the variables, According to the IPCC, the global average surface air
this paper outlines observed climate changes and what they temperature has increased by 0.74°C ± 0.18°C over the last
could mean for utilities. The authors include no predictions 100 years. Furthermore, the rate of temperature change is
on future trends of global climate. accelerating—the rate of warming over the last 50 years is
nearly twice the rate for the last 100 years [32]. Observations
A. Surface Air Temperature
indicate that this warming is not uniform—surface
For regions in North America with more than about 4,000 temperatures over land increased at about twice the rate of
heating degree days Fahrenheit, north of the rough division temperatures over water (0.27ºC/decade versus
between climate zones 1 to 3 and zones 4 and 5 (see Fig. 1), 0.13ºC/decade)—and the increase is largest in high northern
climate warming tends to reduce consumption of heating fuel latitudes [32]. Regionally, temperature increases have been
more than it increases the consumption of electricity for observed over almost all land areas of North America. Note
cooling. The reverse is true south of that line. In general, that the western half of the coterminous United States, on
space cooling is more reliant on electricity and space heating average, warmed more than the eastern half. The Southwest
is more reliant on heating fuel, natural gas, and other non- appears on average to have warmed the most. This could be
electrical energy sources. Consequently warming in the related to regional changes in precipitation.
United States will generally increase the demand for
electricity while decreasing the demand for heating fuels [3]. B. Heat Waves, Cold Snaps, and Minimum/Maximum
Notable exceptions to this general observation exist Temperatures
depending on local technologies used for heating and the Heat waves are significant for electric utilities because they
market penetration of space cooling technologies. For increase demand for space cooling, stressing summer peaking
example, in the Pacific Northwest, electrical space heating is utility systems. Cold snaps are significant because they
common, so warming could lead to a net reduction in increase demand for space heating, stressing winter peaking
electricity demand. On the other hand, adopting space- utility systems where heating technology uses electric power.
cooling technologies could significantly increase electricity Note that most utilities in the United States are summer
demand during summers in regions where space cooling has peaking. Increases in heat wave frequency and severity and
not achieved much market penetration, such as New England. higher maximum temperatures may also contribute to
Some regions could switch from winter peaking to summer increasing adoption of space cooling technology in markets
peaking. Increasing surface air temperatures may also affect where such technologies have not yet made significant
electricity production by reducing generation cycle efficiency inroads, such as New England. Over time, this could mean
and increasing cooling water requirements. Although these substantial increases in electricity demand. Furthermore,
effects can appear small on a power plant-by-power plant extreme high temperatures may affect the operational
basis, summing those effects over the entire energy industry efficiency of electric utilities due to the effects of both heat on
yields extremely large electricity shortfalls [3]. Furthermore, generating hardware and increased cooling needs. In other
high temperatures, in conjunction with the excessive currents words, on the very hottest days, the effective generating
that often coincide with the hottest days, can cause capacity of electric utilities may be reduced while demand
transmission lines to sag and potentially lead to power reaches new all-time highs.
outages. For electric utilities, this generally means greater load on
summer-peaking electric utility systems that now experience a
new all-time high electricity demand due to space cooling
needs, and lesser demand on winter-peaking systems that now
experience reduced low temperatures and consequently
reduced space-heating needs.
Although there is no universally accepted definition of a
heat wave, the World Meteorological Organization defines
heat waves as a period of at least five consecutive days with a
maximum temperature at least 5°C higher than the
climatological norm for the same calendar day over the period
1961-1990. The IPCC concluded that globally the frequency
of heat waves over land areas increased in the 20th century
[32].
C. Surface Water Temperature
Thermal power plants are often cooled with water drawn
from nearby water bodies, and warmer water is not as efficient
as cold water for cooling power plants. In addition, warmer
Source: [3] CCSP, 2007. ambient water temperatures could risk exceeding regulatory
Fig. 1. U.S. climate zones (Zones 1-3 are “north,” Zones 4-5 are “south”)
requirements for maximum water temperatures.
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Fresh water bodies such as reservoirs, lakes, and streams Precipitation generally exhibits large natural variability, so
warm because of increases in ambient air temperature. Such the long-term trend is less certain than temperature changes.
changes in water temperature are nonlinear and bound by the In addition, precipitation is spatially complex, which makes
freezing point at low water temperatures and evaporative examining observed trends and projections of future changes
cooling as heat is transferred to the atmosphere at higher water at small geographic scales challenging. As indicated in Fig. 2,
temperatures [19]. Furthermore, many site-specific the trend over the continental United States has been toward
considerations will cause fresh water bodies to warm greater precipitation, particularly in the central and eastern
differentially, such as the fluid dynamics of streams, rivers, United States (as noted, this could be a contributing factor to
lakes, and reservoirs; vegetative cover; local winds; local the greater warming in the western United States). The
relative humidity; and local precipitation regimes. It is natural interior Northwest appears to have the greatest observed
to expect that changes in water temperature generally track reduction in precipitation.
changes in surface air temperatures.
Temperatures in the ocean, particularly at the surface, have
warmed. According to the IPCC, between 1961 and 2003, the
oceans have warmed by 0.10°C from the surface to a depth of
700 meters (m) [1]. The heat capacity of the oceans is
significantly larger than fresh water bodies. Consequently, it
is likely that fresh water bodies will see temperature increases
equivalent to sea surface temperature (SST) increases or
greater [17].
D. Sea Level Rise
Sea level rise is primarily of concern to electric utilities,
because of risks to infrastructure such as coastal power plants.
Sea level rise also threatens other infrastructure in the coastal
Source: [6] CPC, 2007.
zone such as transportation networks and refineries.
Fig. 2. Rate of observed precipitation change between 1976 and 2005 (inches
Furthermore, indirect costs may arise from the need to elevate per decade).
or harden existing infrastructure as well as increased marginal
costs from siting future utility projects farther inland. The importance of these changes in precipitation is largely
Sea levels are rising in response to thermal expansion of driven by the consequent changes in runoff and streamflow.
ocean waters, melting of glaciers and ice caps, and melting of Less precipitation means less runoff and lower streamflows
the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. According to the and lake and reservoir levels; increased precipitation means
IPCC, sea level rise between 1961 and 2003 averaged 1.8 ± the opposite. To be sure, higher evapotranspiration can offset
0.5 mm/yr. This rate appears to be accelerating: the observed modest increases in precipitation, resulting in no change or
average sea level rise between 1993 and 2003 was 3.1 ± 0.7 even lower streamflows.
mm/yr [1]. F. Changes in Snowpack
E. Changes in Total Precipitation Changes in snowpack are relevant to utilities for two main
Changes in the availability of water at a specific location or reasons. First, hydroelectric power forms a regionally
during specific seasons could have an effect on electricity significant source of electricity in some snowmelt-fed basins
production if cooling water becomes a limiting factor in plant such as those in the Pacific Northwest region. Second, water
operation. Siting of new facilities may also be driven by availability may become a limiting factor for some utility
regional changes in water availability. According to the operations, particularly in the West, where snowmelt provides
CCSP, “Situations where the development of new power the majority of streamflow that could be used for cooling
plants is being slowed down or halted due to inadequate thermoelectric plants during the summer season.
cooling water are becoming more frequent throughout the Multiple studies indicate a trend of decreasing snowpack in
U.S.” ([3], p. 49). Roy et al. [28] identified areas in the the West, especially since mid-century [20][26][30].
United States—particularly the West and Southwest—where According to the IPCC, “Decreases in snow cover are mainly
population growth and increased electric power production confined to the latter half of the 20th century, and are most
could constrain cooling water availability. The western apparent in the spring period over western North America”
United States, and in particular the Southwest, have the most [15].
areas with potential constraints. Furthermore, in areas seeing G. Change in Extreme Precipitation: Intense Storms, and
a decrease in precipitation, there is likely to be an even larger Flooding
increase in electricity demand than with higher temperatures
Intensified storms and potential consequent flooding are
alone—both because of the lack of the cooling effect of
significant for electric utilities, because they could put electric
precipitation and because of the increased use of energy for
utility infrastructure at risk. They could also affect the
irrigation, watering lawns, and other water-related purposes.
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operation of hydroelectric facilities, especially those that serve strongest North Atlantic hurricanes[8].
multiple objectives, including flood control. Indirect impacts
I. Drought
also exist, such as flooding that damage rail lines used to
deliver coal to power plants. Drought is of concern to electric utilities largely because it
According to the IPCC, “Basic theory, climate model increases electricity demand, because of the lack of a cooling
simulations and empirical evidence all confirm that warmer effect from precipitation and the increased use of energy for
climates, owing to their increased water vapor, lead to more irrigation, watering lawns, and other water-related purposes.
intense precipitation events even when the total annual Furthermore, thermal power plants (needing water for
precipitation is reduced slightly” ([36], 2007, p. 262). This cooling) and changes in the availability of water (at a specific
means an increased risk of floods where and when it is location or during specific seasons) could affect electricity
raining, largely because of the increased capacity of the production. If cooling water becomes a limiting factor in
atmosphere to store water vapor. As indicated in Fig.3 both plant operation, siting of new facilities may be driven by
precipitation data and streamflow data indicate that the regional changes in water availability.
majority of the increase in precipitation from 1939 through According to the IPCC, in the United States, a multi-
1999 occurred in severe storms with heavy precipitation decade period of wetness characterized the latter portion of
Error! Reference source not found.. According to CCSP the 20th century in terms of precipitation, streamflow, and
([4], pp. 64-66), many studies have documented a significant annual moisture surplus. Nevertheless, a severe drought
northward shift in storm tracks, a decrease in storm frequency affected the western United States from 1999 to 2004 [36].
in mid latitudes (30°-60°N), an increase in storm frequency in J. Wildfire
high latitudes (60°-90°N), and an increase in storm intensity Wildfire is of concern to electric utilities largely because of
and extreme wind speeds across both mid- and high latitudes the risk to infrastructure (i.e., existing power plants and
transmission lines). Furthermore, there is some concern that
high-tension power lines can cause fires under the right
conditions. Wildfires can also lead to subsequent erosion of
soils into reservoirs and other water bodies that may affect
operational considerations for some generating stations.
Fires in the western United States have increased in
frequency and intensity. In the West, where snowmelt
provides more than 75% of streamflow, earlier snowmelt is
lengthening the wildfire season by beginning the process of
drying out potential fuels earlier in the season, [29][38]. .

III. IMPACTS AND RESPONSES


The data are based on 150 unregulated streams across the United States with Power systems are sensitive to the great variety of weather
nearby precipitation measurements.
Source: [21] NAST 2000. conditions. Weather directly affects power system
Fig. 3. Changes in precipitation and streamflow across the United States components, like wires and transformers, and it affects
during the period 1939-1999 displayed on an arbitrary scale of severity by subsystems like protection systems, cooling systems, and fuel
percentage.
transport systems. Its impacts on low-level components and
H. Hurricanes subsystems that are tightly interactive, then, causes higher
Hurricane frequency and severity are relevant to electric level affects on whole transmission interconnections and on
utilities, because these natural hazards pose a threat to the many other physical and economic systems that depend on
infrastructure such as coastal power plants and transmission electricity.
lines. Furthermore, disruptions to electricity may cause This section is a synopsis of a detailed, analytical
economic impacts if plants are forced to shut down because of companion report, Impacts of Extreme Weather on Power
high seas or infrastructure damage. Systems and Components [39], that introduces and discusses
Changes in tropical storm and hurricane intensity are weather-related effects across the power delivery chain, from
largely masked by natural variability. However, hurricane the power stations to the load. It is based on a scientific
duration and intensity are strongly correlated with sea surface understanding of the phenomena involved in some of the
temperatures SST (e.g., [9]). Higher SSTs lead to stronger effects. It synthesizes information from a wide variety of
hurricanes, as more energy is made available for storm assessments and published research on different subjects,
intensification. According to IPCC, numbers and proportions albeit, some which were not originally written to tackle the
of strong hurricanes have increased globally since 1970 even subject of weather changes.
as the total numbers of cyclones and cyclone days decreased Here, we summarize effects that extreme events can have
slightly [36]. A recent study in the journal Nature reported on the components and subsystems of a typical electrical
statistically significant increases in the wind speeds of the system. Table I lists the susceptible power system
components and subsystems in the first column, followed by
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information about the kinds of extreme weather events to IV. DECISION FRAMEWORK
which they are susceptible and specific model parameters that This section gives a procedural overview of utilizing risk
change because of weather variations. Finally, we refer the analysis and risk management techniques as part of decision
reader to the companion report for detailed portrayals of the making for preparing and responding to weather related
contextual and analytical information needed to determine the events. The sections are organized in the steps of the process
range of appropriate parameter values to include in your own from weather projections to portfolio screening. In each
analysis. section, we cite other studies that have investigated either
weather impacts specifically or that have included large
TABLE I
SUMMARY OF EXTREME WEATHER IMPACTS AND RESPONSES*
numbers of uncertain factors in system planning.
Susceptible The level of detail and effort to pursue in any given step
Subsystem Susceptibility depends on the regional weather patterns and trends, the
Parameter
Overhead power system design, and the priorities and culture of the
Transmission utility. The authors recommend that each utility proceed
Soil Electrical forward through the process and adapt and learn how best to
Resistivity, incorporate these lessons into their own business practices.
Grounding Electrodes Drought
Lightning A. Background
Performance
Precipitation, Efficiency, Major studies of extreme event impacts to public
Corona Losses infrastructure have been recently completed or are in progress.
Humidity, Dust Noise
Clearance High Wind Flashover Recent academic research can be found in [40], [41], [42],
Precipitation, Efficiency, [43], [44], [45], [46], [47], [48], and [49]. Regional studies of
Insulators impacts on public infrastructure are available for the State of
Humidity, Dust Flashover
Humidity, High Thermal Alaska [50], Boston [51], London [52], Seattle [53], the
Transmission Line “Metro-East Coast” [54], and Hamilton City in New Zealand
Wind, Heat Wave, Rating, Fire
Ratings
Wildfire Damage [55], Canada [56], and California [57]. See also EPRI’s prior
Ice, High Winds, Physical Stress, report on the impacts of extreme weather [58] for extensive
Poles and Towers
Drought, Wildfire Grounding notes and presentations of ongoing research in this area.
Grounding, This list of studies is meant to communicate the wide
Protection Systems Drought, Ice
Communication availability of techniques and examples and the large amount
Scheduling, of activity in this area. The following sections cite some of
Maintenance Extreme weather
Access these reports for their techniques.
Flooding, High
Communication Availability B. Weather Projections
Winds, Ice
Flooding, High EPRI has worked with the Lawrence Berkeley National
Transportation Availability
Winds, Ice Laboratory Scientific Computing Group (LBNL SCG) [59],
Drought, Heat Soil Thermal who offered a seminar on the status of Global Circulation
Underground Cables
Wave Resistivity Modeling (GCM). The main conclusion from these
Distribution interactions is that climate models provide good information
Heat Wave Aging
Transformers about questions that climate scientists ask, but are not yet
Generation suited for questions that others are asking. It is still necessary
Humidity, Heat to improve climate models and their reporting to better suit the
Efficiency,
Cooling Systems Wave, Drought, needs of infrastructure planners, like those in the electricity
Availability
High Winds industry.
Cooling Water One potentially important development would be for
Heat Wave, Temperature,
Cooling Water climate scientists to report different kinds of statistics that can
Drought Efficiency,
be more useful in energy planning studies. For instance,
Availability
peaks-over-threshold statistics can be very helpful to
Substations
infrastructure impacts, since power systems are designed for
Soil Resistivity,
maximum capabilities. System design specifications (see
Grounding System Drought Ground
Resistivity [39]) could become part of an analysis that is more
SF6 Insulation Extreme Cold Condensation customized for power systems, and would have statistics that
Oil Containment Flood Flood Capacity can be readily incorporated into system planning studies.
*This table is intended to document the known, current-day knowledge and C. Equipment Inventory
thinking and is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Suggestions for
improvements are most welcome. The previous section on Impacts and Responses gives a
short list of the various susceptible power system components
and subsystems. The companion report [39] gives for each
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type of equipment the specific analytical framework for and very cold conditions have been found to be coincident
assessing impacts. This reference should be consulted to with low wind conditions [69]. This same study is developing
assess the potential importance of extreme weather events. weather forecasting models that generate time-series weather
We use the term importance to mean the combination of data having the proper coincidence of these weather
likelihood and impact, the latter of which is typically phenomena. The application is for load forecasting and wind
measured in cost, whether direct costs or opportunity costs. power production forecasting, but is equally applicable to
Key parameters for assessing costs are the remaining useful extreme event modeling.
life, operations and maintenance costs, and replacement cost. The particular challenge for modeling extreme events will
With an understanding of what types of extreme weather be to focus less on normal events and focus more on the rare,
events are important for which components and subsystems, but important, events. There is extensive literature on rare
the process of constructing a decision framework can proceed event simulation [70] coupled with importance sampling
toward building an inventory of specific, susceptible techniques, as in this reference [71]. Importance sampling
components and subsystems. EPRI has for decades been [72] utilizes a biased sampling distribution, which accounts
developing standardized database and communication for all potential futures, but emphasizes exploration and
frameworks for utility equipment called the Common analysis among those that are more important. In this way,
Information Model (CIM). This framework is most advanced fewer scenarios need are analyzed to obtain the same
in applications involving system operations as exemplified by statistical accuracy, when compared to simple uniform
the 2008 Interoperability Report [61]. System operation is sampling, for instance.
important in this framework if system reliability and Recent planning studies incorporate scenario analysis as a
interdependencies between components and subsystems are means of conducting sensitivity analysis. The NERC Long-
foreseen to be important. The CIM effort has recently Term Resource Adequacy study [73] and its companion
extended to represent distribution systems [62] and Scenario Reliability Assessment [74] include not only
transmission planning information [63]. These two variability in weather, including extreme weather events, but
application areas are important for covering the range of also alternative future system configurations. These
susceptibilities. alternative configurations are for major changes in the
Fig. 4 has an example of the variety of distribution generation mix to include large amounts of renewable energy
applications and their interactions in normal utility operations. resources and/or large amounts of new nuclear power
One can see here many sources of important and useful generation resources. The renewable resources are
information for a risk analysis framework. This diagram for particularly susceptible to weather changes and to extreme
distribution systems is also indicative of other power sectors, weather conditions. Nuclear plants that need water-cooling
like transmission and generation. are also known to be susceptible to extremely hot and/or dry
Especially important will be the physical condition, weather conditions.
location, and configuration of each piece of equipment, which Another planning study conducted by the California
is important for quantifying its susceptibility to extreme Energy Commission staff and research programs investigates
weather events. Existing systems may need enhancements to potential weather impacts. These studies ([80], [81], and [82])
include such information that is useful for making a weather focus on extreme weather leading to storm surges, heat
risk study. storms, drought, and wildfires. They provide some of the
latest techniques and frameworks for structuring such a study
for a large region, like California, that includes diverse terrain
and weather conditions.
The California Governor’s Office now has a discussion
paper under review and comment [83]. The study is in
response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Executive
Order (EO) S-13- 08 of November 14, 2008, which called on
state agencies to develop California’s first strategy to identify
and prepare for expected climate impacts. The main variables
are sea-level rise, increased temperatures, shifting
precipitation, and extreme weather events.
E. System Simulations
Power system simulation is a well-developed field, but
there may be room to develop further such simulations to
Fig. 4. Distribution Applications
represent better the impacts of extreme events. Not only does
D. Event / Scenario Creation the companion report [39] provide direct effects on power
Historical distributions of weather events show that certain system components and subsystems, but also it provides
conditions are related in unusual ways. For instance, very hot motivation for further modeling to understand the holistic
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effects that small-scale impacts and interactions have on the frequently. Maintenance may also involve upgrading
larger public infrastructure systems. components to higher design standards. A choice to use this
Economic impacts are estimated through sensitivity strategy has the effect of slowing the aging process of
analysis of damage estimates. Predictions in advance of equipment relative no reinforcement.
oncoming storms are used to preposition a response. Storms Pre-Positioning is part of maintenance and operations
include hurricanes and ice storms, and interested parties process. It involves recognizing an oncoming weather event
should consider the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation- and pre-positioning equipment and operations to reduce
Level Data (HIFLD) Working Group for access to models on system damage and customer outage hours. For instance, it is
interruptions [89]. common practice to pre-position fuel stocks, spare parts, and
repair crews in anticipation of a severe storm. System
F. System Operations
operations can also diversify to utilize local resources for local
Power system operation models are used routinely for unit demand. In this way, it is easer to manage and to execute
commitment and dispatching resources [75]. These models recovery efforts following an outage. The choice of this
integrate high-level representations of major system strategy has little to no effect on the aging process, but it has
components, like generation, transmission, and demand. The the potential to reduce customer outage hours. Further
fundamental technology is a power flow calculation that is research is needed to quantitatively assess to the efficacy of
useful for computing how these major system components are this strategy and to present it in a way that can be included in
used. planning studies.
Incorporating uncertainty and focusing on rare events can Recovery is part of maintenance and occurs mostly in the
be achieved by utilizing probabilistic planning methods as in aftermath of an extreme event. It involves assessing damage
[76][77][78]. These methods couple power flow techniques and problems, identifying and prioritizing solutions,
with statistics to develop system-level statistics for assessing scheduling the maintenance, and executing the recovery. The
system reliability. They can be applied to statistics of rare, choice of this strategy has little to no effect on the aging
extreme conditions and assessing the loading on major process, but it has the potential to reduce customer outage
components of the transmission and distribution systems. hours. It is likely that historical records are sufficient to
The companion report [39] also contains a section on the derive statistical results on recovery.
application of event simulation to represent power system These strategies primarily arise as slightly increased costs
impacts over time. Future research and development could for capital equipment and accelerated maintenance. Engineers
combine probabilistic planning and event simulation can give close attention to opportunities for increased
techniques to make a single, integrated simulation framework operational efficiencies and measures of system reliability,
to analyze extreme weather impacts. such as customer outage hours. Rather than relate directly
G. Impacts reliability and monetary metrics, the planning decisions could
The analytical processes for many extreme weather impacts be constrained to maintain consistent system reliability,
on power system components and subsystems are very leaving the traditional objective of minimizing cost and/or
specific to the equipment types and how they are maximizing benefits.
interconnected and utilized. The main result of these impacts How much extra should be spent on making a power
is accelerated aging and potential for replacement, and the system more resilient? Insurance companies are conducting
work by Larsen, et al. [50] utilizes this measure, along with a statistical analyses of extreme weather impacts for specific
threshold for replacement. In this way, impacts are quantified locales. One of the best indicators of their assessment is
in terms of increased maintenance and replacement costs over changing insurance premiums. For example, the United States
time. Government Accountability Office (GAO) testified in its
submission to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security
H. Decisions and Governmental Affairs in April 2007 that many large
This risk analysis framework covers a time horizon long private insurers are factoring changes in extreme weather
enough to assess the costs and benefits of additional system patterns into their annual risk management practices. The
infrastructure. Planning horizons of 20 to 30 years are typical GAO further recommended that Federal insurance programs
and involve forecasts of demand, weather, and production. include such revisions.
Planners measure the scope of costs and benefits in both Including benchmark insurance premiums in planning
monetary and reliability terms. economics may better account for all costs and potentially
Decisions for system additions respond to the forecast bring risk into the decision making process. Planners can
parameters. We propose to layer three general strategies to include them as long as it is possible to quote insurance
handle extreme weather impacts: reinforcement, pre- premiums for alternative decision-making policies.
positioning, and recovery.
Reinforcement is part of the planning and maintenance V. SUMMARY AND NEXT STEPS
processes. It involves using design parameters that exceed This report describes the kinds of extreme events that affect
current standards and conducting maintenance more power systems, the susceptible components and subsystems,
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and a framework for weather risk assessments. Such Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. T.J.
Wilbanks, V. Bhatt, D.E. Bilello, S.R. Bull, J. Ekmann, W.C. Horak,
assessments depend critically on the system configuration and Y.J. Huang, M.D. Levine, M.J. Sale, D.K. Schmalzer, and M.J. Scott.
the kinds of weather events that are likely to have an impact. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental
For this reason, the report describes in general terms the Research, Washington, DC.
[4] CCSP. 2008. Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate. A
process of data collection, impact assessment, analysis, and
Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the
decision-making. Subcommittee on Global Change Research, T.R. Karl, G. Meehl, C.D.
It is likely that the impacts of extreme events can be Miller, S.J. Hassol, A.M. Waple, and M.L. Murray (eds.). U.S. Climate
incorporated into exiting utility planning practices, and the Change Science Program, Washington, DC.
[5] Christensen, J.H., B. Hewitson, A. Busuioc, A. Chen, X. Gao, I. Held, R.
kinds of strategies applicable to extreme events Jones, R.K. Kolli, W.-T. Kwon, R. Laprise, V. Magaña Rueda, L.
(reinforcements, pre-positioning, and recovery) may be part of Mearns, C.G. Menéndez, J. Räisänen, A. Rinke, A. Sarri, and P.
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VIII. BIOGRAPHIES
simulation in the presence of heavy tails. In Proceedings of the 37th
Conference on Winter Simulation (Orlando, Florida, December 04 - 07, Dr. Robert Entriken (M'1982, SM’2007) manages
2005). Winter Simulation Conference. Winter Simulation Conference, the policy analysis program at EPRI and co-manages
664-672. EPRI's power market design task force, which
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Electricity Reliability Corporation, Princeton, NJ. refinery scheduling at the Koninklijke/Shell
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Electricity Reliability Corporation, Princeton, NJ. co-developed a large economic model of the U.S.
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Vol. 36, Springer. IEEE PES tutorial (1999). In addition, he has developed economic and
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M. Graham, and D. Ramsay, “Utility application experience of Mellon University, holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Operations Research from
Probabilistic Risk Assessment method,” Proceeding of the 2009 Power Stanford University.
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Delivery & Utilization Sector of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
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At EPRI Mr. Lordan has held various positions including Program Manager of
Energy Infrastructure from Projected Climate Change, Presentation to
Electric & Magnetic Fields Management, Overhead Transmission,
the 6th Annual California Climate Change Research Symposium, June
Substations, and Grid Operations and Planning.
2009.
Mr. Lordan worked at Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) before
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joining EPRI. While at FPL Mr. Lordan worked in various capacities
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including, Engineering, Service Planning, Management of Bargaining Unit
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Employees, and Marketing. In his engineering capacity Mr. Lordan designed
California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA, January 2009. CEC-
overhead and underground distribution and transmission systems.
150-2009-001.
Mr. Lordan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering
http://www.energy.ca.gov/2009publications/CEC-150-2009-001/CEC-
from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science Degree in
150-2009-001.PDF
Electrical Engineering from Florida Atlantic University. He is a Professional
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