IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - 67

P

Power system infrastructure is subject
to damage from a wide range of extreme weather events,
including hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning storms, snow and
ice storms, floods, storm tides, heat waves, droughts, and
more (see figure 1). as climate change occurs, scientists
expect extreme events to become even more severe in some
locations, resulting in more intense precipitation; longer,
hotter heat waves; higher-intensity hurricanes; higher storm
tides; more ice storms; and so on.
the increased severity of extreme weather events will
subject the electric grid to higher levels of risk. enhanced
understanding of these risks can help utility executives and
regulators make better decisions regarding the levels of risk
that are tolerable and the measures and financial resources
required to manage risk to acceptable levels. in this article,
we discuss a case study undertaken to evaluate how future
climate change might impact the electricity delivery system
on Long island, new york. the study used a scenario-based
approach to examine how warmer atmospheric, soil, and sea
surface temperatures would affect the evolution and impact
of a superstorm sandy-like storm in the future.
this work brought together researchers and practitioners
in the atmospheric and environmental sciences, risk analysis, and the electric power sector to explore ways of integrating their respective disciplines to consider how climate
change science can be introduced as a design input for electric infrastructure analysis. Given the long-lived nature of
electricity infrastructure investments, it is judicious to consider how climate change may affect the future efficacy of
measures taken to increase grid resilience today.
climate scientists need to be involved early on in the process. they ensure the required capability in weather and climate modeling using the fundamental laws of physics, and
they know the strengths and limitations of weather forecasts
and climate projections. Knowledge of the electric power
system is also critical to understanding the consequences of
extreme weather. the ability to identify system vulnerabilities and thresholds of failure and to assess and evaluate the
types and magnitudes of outages is fundamental. in between
the domains of the atmospheric sciences and electrical
power systems reside experts who translate information
from weather models into the actual hazard that damages
the electric system, such as high winds, storm surge and
flooding. coordination among the various experts and stakeholders is needed to ensure the ideal transfer of information
across these different domains. in this work, scientists from
the national center for atmospheric research (ncar)
teamed up with engineers and risk analysts from DnV GL
to explore how climate science can better inform hazard
and impact analysis, ultimately serving weather-related risk
management and storm hardening programs under current
and future climate conditions.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2014.2331901
Date of publication: 18 August 2014

september/october 2014

ieee power & energy magazine

67



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - Cover2
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - 1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - Cover4
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