Electric Power Grid Resilience Under Extreme Weather Events

Orlando Quezada Simental, University of Texas at El Paso


Electric power distribution grids are experiencing blackouts at higher rates than ever before due to extreme weather, leaving hundreds of customers without electric energy for hours or even days. While these events are considered low-probability events, the socioeconomic costs and impacts are extensive as the distribution systems are unreliable under emergency events. The improvement of the resilience of the power distribution system can be accomplished through the implementation of microgrids (MGs) throughout the grid, which can be constituted by distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar roof-top PV generation and electric vehicles (EVs) and many others. The development of new technologies is increasing transportation electrification, and electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to become even more popular in the coming years. High EV adoption rates can increase the potential to use EVs as an energy resource. The transformation to electrify transportation offers many benefits for both parties (EVs owners and electric utilities), including increased energy efficiency, improved sustainability, economic growth, and energy security. One of the main characteristics of EVs is their capability to be used as a flexible energy storage resource in vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications. The work described in this thesis focuses on the resilience analysis of power grid using EVs and roof-top solar PVs to provide electric power support in the network microgrids (MGs), during the event of extreme weather conditions. This thesis contributes to the state-of-the-art in the operations of power distribution grid by evaluating resilience enhancements and its capability to withstand moderate damage and heavy damage events caused by severe weather. Test results demonstrate the effectiveness of using EVs and PVs as backup energy resources. A set of resilience metrics is evaluated for different cases and duration. Moreover, the results also indicate that, when managed effectively, distributed energy resources can enhance the resilience of the distribution grid. The major contributions of this thesis are the following. Chapter 3 provides (i) an insight into the advantages that EVs, when efficiently operated in networked MGs, can provide energy support to the distribution grid; (ii) EVs operating in V2H/V2G can provide improvements to the power distribution system during outages; and (iii) detailed resilience analysis in real case studies of power distribution systems. Chapter 4 contributes to (iv) effective utilization of EVs and roof-top solar PVs in networked MGs during power distribution grid contingencies; (v) resilience evaluation of distribution grid during short- and long-duration outages; (vi) demonstration of EVs and PVs for power restoration following a grid contingency; and (vii) evaluation of grid resilience by using resilience metrics in the context of electrical energy service and economic impacts (i.e., total system energy not served, total system-hours of outage total and average number of buses experiencing outage, total service loss of utility revenue, and total outage costs). Finally, Chapter 5 contributes to the development of (viii) a detailed resilience analysis of realistic case studies that show the potential benefits that DERs managed in networked MGs can provide to a power distribution grid; and (ix) calculation of resilience metrics for electrical service and monetary impacts using DERs, i.e., resilience index, outage index, and total outage costs.

Subject Area

Electrical engineering|Energy

Recommended Citation

Quezada Simental, Orlando, "Electric Power Grid Resilience Under Extreme Weather Events" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI29211985.