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Thursday, November 11 2021
11:00am - 12:00pm
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Modeling Risk of Wildfire Ignitions and Power Outages in the Electric Grid

Electric grid faults can be the source of catastrophic wildfires, particularly in regions with high winds and low humidity. In short-term operations, electric utilities have few options to mitigate the risk of wildfire ignitions, leading to use of disruptive measures such as proactive de-energization of equipment, frequently referred to as public safety power shut-offs. Decisions of which lines to turn off and how to bring them back on again has significant impacts on customers, who lose access to electricity in an attempt to protect them from fires. 

This talk discusses two complementary aspects of this problem. First, we will discuss the question of how to optimally balance the negative impacts of both wildfire risk and power outages, before describing how we model this trade-off in our proposed optimal power shut-off problem. We will also discuss algorithms for proactive restoration planning that can help re-energize the system faster after a disaster, and how distributed energy resources (DERs) aid in this process.

Dr. Line Roald is an Assistant Professor and Grainger Institute Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in University of Wisconsin—Madison. Prior to joining UW Madison, she was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Center of Non-Linear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and the UW Madison ECE Outstanding Graduate Mentor award.

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