Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
As our electric power distribution infrastructure has aged, considerable investment
has been applied to modernizing the electrical power grid through weatherization
and in deployment of real-time monitoring systems. A key question is whether or not
these investments are reducing the number and duration of power outages, leading to
Statistical methods are applied to analyze electrical disturbance data (from the
Department of Energy, DOE) and reliability index data (from state utility public service
commission regulators) to detect signs of improvement. The number of installed
smart meters provided by several utilities is used to determine whether the number
of smart meters correlate with a reduction in outage frequency.
Indication emerged that the number of power outages may be decreasing over
time. The magnitude of power loss has decreased from 2003 to 2007, and behaves
cyclically from 2008 to 2014, with a few outlier points in both groups. The duration
also appears to be decreasing between 2003-2014.
Large blackout events exceeding 5 GW continue to be rare, and certain power
outage events are seasonally dependent. There was a linear relationship between
the number of customers and the magnitude of a power outage event. However, no
relationship was found between the magnitude of power outages and time to restore
power. The frequency of outages maybe decreasing as the number of installed smart
meters has increased.
Recommendations for inclusion of additional metrics, changes to formatting and
semantics of datasets currently provided by federal and state regulators are made to
help aid researchers in performing more effective analysis. Confounding variables and
lack of information that has made the analysis diffcult is also discussed.
Number of Pages
Adderly, Shawn, "Reviewing Power Outage Trends, Electric Reliability Indices and Smart Grid Funding" (2016). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 531.