Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


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Incorporating stress in electric power systems reliability models

Journal Article

Hisham Zerriffi - Stanford University
Hadi Dowlatabadi - Sustainable Development Research Initiative, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Alex Farrell - Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley

Published by
Energy Policy, November 22, 2005

Electric power systems can be disrupted by a variety of circumstances impacting failure and recovery rates. However, conflict-induced stress, primary fuel supply disruptions, and impediments to repair have rarely been incorporated into a systematic analysis of power planning and dispatch. In this paper, we augment the traditional Monte-Carlo reliability modeling framework to also represent primary fuel delivery and distributed generation (DG) topologies. We characterize five failure modes for the integrated system and compare the performance of centralized to DG systems under various levels of stress including conflict-induced stress. Our findings show DG to be significantly more reliable than centralized systems and when whole-economy costs are considered they are also more economical. These findings are significant in power planning for areas concerned about conflict-induced stress or where other factors may impact reliability of supply to a far greater extent than has been the norm in OECD countries.