IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - 78

are committing r&D funds to
accelerate the development of the
200
requisite technology and stan180
dards; a recent example is the
160
DOe-led initiative to standardize
140
the
microgrid interface.
120
this
article proposes that one
100
of
the
crucial
values of distributed
80
resources
to
society stems from
60
their
contribution
to grid resilience
40
during
emergency
operating con20
ditions
associated
with vLses.
0
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Distributed
resources-including
Year
standby generation, distributed
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
generation, distributed storage,
figure 2. The number of bulk power outages related to U.S. weather conditions.
microgrids, and demand response
mechanisms-can play an imporcomputation. It is generally expected that cybercomponents tant role in helping the grid survive and recover from extreme
and applications will increase the operability, reliabil- events. with rapidly maturing technologies and growing penity, and controllability of the grid. But they also introduce etrations of distributed resources, their potential to provide
greater vulnerability to cascading effects via cyber-physical local energy (or "negawatts") as well as more advanced ancillary services including operating reserve, spinning reserve,
interdependencies.
the cyber and physical resilience of transmission and frequency regulation, and voltage regulation is being recogdistribution (t&D) networks must be a temporal, agile, and nized. to date, these capabilities have been primarily considholistic practice that makes the electric grid less vulnerable ered in the context of t&D network operations, often in terms
to outages and reduces the time of service recovery. many of the challenges involved in integrating various advanced
U.s. utilities now have initiatives to improve grid resilience distributed resources functionalities with the legacy distribuand the responsiveness of loads. examples include programs tion infrastructure.
the supporting role of distributed resources for resilience
for t&D grid reinforcements; smart grid technology implementations (e.g., automated demand response); reliable and during and after a vLse reflects a combination of the roles
interoperable communication infrastructure; better vegeta- of central generating units at the transmission level, switchtion management; extended mutual aid agreements; incident ing operations at the distribution level, and customer-side
management process improvements; and emergency pre- response strategies. they include provision of local energy
paredness. there are several related multiutility initiatives and ancillary services, support for essential congestion
led by utility organizations, as well as initiatives led by management, and restoration processes, including islanding
federal and state government agencies to improve grid resil- schemes that are adaptive to circumstances. some of these
ience. For example, the Federal emergency management roles are understood and proven while others remain to be
agency (Fema) has implemented the Incident command investigated and demonstrated.
It is vital that we fully explore the role that distributed
system, and the U.s. Department of homeland security has
initiated various programs to protect critical infrastructure, resources can play to enhance grid resilience. Indeed, the
such as the DOe-led emergency support Function 12, aimed response to vLses could prove a crucial test for distributed
at improving preventive measures, restoration, and recovery resources capabilities-or, if we fail to prepare, an opportuof energy supply systems. the connecticut legislature is also nity lost.
providing microgrid grants and loans to enhance emergency
preparedness and response.
Assessing Grid Resilience
hardening the distribution network is the other approach with Distributed Resources
for preventing or mitigating the catastrophic effects of resilience with respect to vLses requires knowledge of a
weather-related disruptions. structurally reinforcing towers system's behavior and its ability to flexibly accommodate
and poles is one effective way to increase robustness. vegeta- quick changes without a severe decline in performance.
tion management is crucial for preventing faults, especially resilience therefore begins with electric grid identificain distribution networks. Utility customers with sensitive tion and the characterization of distributed resources.
loads guard against vLses by hardening their networks and Distribution network topology, network physical characincreasing their on-site backup and renewable generation teristics, operational constraints, and distributed resource
capabilities, their storage capacity, and their participation in capacities are all clarified in the network identification
demand response programs. Federal and state governments step. the next step is network vulnerability analysis. the
U.S. Weather-Related Power Outages

78

ieee power & energy magazine

september/october 2014



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

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2014 - Cover1
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