Exploratory analysis of high-resolution power interruption data reveals spatial and temporal heterogeneity in electric grid reliability

Exploratory analysis of high-resolution power interruption data reveals spatial and temporal heterogeneity in electric grid reliability

TitleExploratory analysis of high-resolution power interruption data reveals spatial and temporal heterogeneity in electric grid reliability
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLaurel N Dunn, Michael D Sohn, Kristina Hamachi LaCommare, Joseph H Eto
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume129
Pagination206 - 214
Date Published01/2019
ISSN03014215
Abstract

Modern grid monitoring equipment enables utilities to collect detailed records of power interruptions. These data are aggregated to compute publicly reported metrics describing high-level characteristics of grid performance. The current work explores the depth of insights that can be gained from public data, and the implications of losing visibility into heterogeneity in grid performance through aggregation. We present an exploratory analysis examining three years of high-resolution power interruption data collected by archiving information posted in real-time on the public-facing website of a utility in the Western United States. We report on the size, frequency and duration of individual power interruptions, and on spatio-temporal variability in aggregate reliability metrics. Our results show that metrics of grid performance can vary spatially and temporally by orders of magnitude, revealing heterogeneity that is not evidenced in publicly reported metrics. We show that limited access to granular information presents a substantive barrier to conducting detailed policy analysis, and discuss how more widespread data access could help to answer questions that remain unanswered in the literature to date. Given open questions about whether grid performance is adequate to support societal needs, we recommend establishing pathways to make high-resolution power interruption data available to support policy research.

URLhttps://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0301421519300424
DOI10.1016/j.enpol.2019.01.042
Short TitleEnergy Policy