Islanding the power grid on the transmission level: less connections for more security

M. Mureddu, G. Caldarelli, A. Damiano, A. Scala, H. Meyer-Ortmanns

Scientific Reports 6, 1 (2016)

#resilience#sustainability#powergrids

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LQ placeholderFour maps representing the Voronoi tessellation of the German power system

Four maps representing the Voronoi tessellation of the German power system

Islanding is known as a management procedure of the power system that is implemented at the distribution level to preserve sensible loads from outages and to guarantee the continuity in electricity supply, when a high amount of distributed generation occurs. In this paper we study islanding on the level of the transmission grid and shall show that it is a suitable measure to enhance energy security and grid resilience. We consider the German and Italian transmission grids. We remove links either randomly to mimic random failure events, or according to a topological characteristic, their so-called betweenness centrality, to mimic an intentional attack and test whether the resulting fragments are self-sustainable. We test this option via the tool of optimized DC power flow equations. When transmission lines are removed according to their betweenness centrality, the resulting islands have a higher chance of being dynamically self-sustainable than for a random removal. Less connections may even increase the grid's stability. These facts should be taken into account in the design of future power grids.

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