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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Enhancing the

RESILIENCE

of the Nation’s Electricity System

Committee on Enhancing the Resilience of the
Nation’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

A Consensus Study Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
×

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24836.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
×

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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
×

COMMITTEE ON ENHANCING THE RESILIENCE OF THE NATION’S ELECTRIC POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM

M. GRANGER MORGAN, Chair, NAS,1 Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

DIONYSIOS ALIPRANTIS, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

ANJAN BOSE, NAE,2 Washington State University, Pullman

W. TERRY BOSTON, NAE, PJM Interconnection (retired), Signal Mountain, Tennessee

ALLISON CLEMENTS, goodgrid, LLC, Salt Lake City, Utah

JEFFERY DAGLE, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington

PAUL DE MARTINI, Newport Consulting, Sausalito, California

JEANNE FOX, Columbia University, New York

ELSA GARMIRE, Dartmouth College (retired), Santa Cruz, California

RONALD E. KEYS, United States Air Force (retired), Woodbridge, Virginia

MARK McGRANAGHAN, Electric Power Research Institute, Knoxville, Tennessee

CRAIG MILLER, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Alexandria, Virginia

THOMAS J. OVERBYE, Texas A&M University, College Station

WILLIAM H. SANDERS, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

RICHARD E. SCHULER, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

SUSAN TIERNEY, Analysis Group, Aurora, Colorado

DAVID G. VICTOR, University of California, San Diego

Staff

K. JOHN HOLMES, Study Director

DANA CAINES, Financial Manager

ELIZABETH EULLER, Senior Program Assistant (until June 2016)

JORDAN D. HOYT, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow

LANITA JONES, Administrative Coordinator (until August 2017)

JANKI U. PATEL, Program Assistant

BEN A. WENDER, Program Officer

E. JONATHAN YANGER, Research Associate (until April 2017)

JAMES J. ZUCCHETTO, Senior Scientist

___________________

1 NAS, National Academy of Sciences.

2 NAE, National Academy of Engineering.

NOTE: See Appendix C, Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
×

BOARD ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS

JARED L. COHON, Chair, NAE,1 Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

DAVID T. ALLEN, NAE, University of Texas, Austin

W. TERRY BOSTON, NAE, PJM Interconnection (retired), Signal Mountain, Tennessee

WILLIAM BRINKMAN, NAS,2 Princeton University, New Jersey

EMILY A. CARTER, NAS/NAE, Princeton University, New Jersey

BARBARA KATES-GARNICK, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

JOANN MILLIKEN, Independent Consultant, Alexandria, Virginia

MARGO TSIRIGOTIS OGE, Environmental Protection Agency (retired), McLean, Virginia

JACKALYNE PFANNENSTIEL,3 Independent Consultant, Piedmont, California

MICHAEL P. RAMAGE, NAE, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (retired), New York

DOROTHY ROBYN, Independent Consultant, Washington, D.C.

GARY ROGERS, Roush Industries, Livonia, Michigan

KELLY SIMS-GALLAGHER, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

MARK THIEMENS, NAS, University of California, San Diego

JOHN WALL, NAE, Cummins Engine Company (retired), Belvedere, California

ROBERT WEISENMILLER, California Energy Commission, Sacramento

Staff

K. JOHN HOLMES, Acting Director/Scholar

DANA CAINES, Financial Manager

LANITA JONES, Administrative Coordinator (until August 2017)

MARTIN OFFUTT, Senior Program Officer

JANKI U. PATEL, Program Assistant

BEN A. WENDER, Program Officer

JAMES J. ZUCCHETTO, Senior Scientist

___________________

1 NAE, National Academy of Engineering.

2 NAS, National Academy of Sciences.

3 Deceased on April 26, 2017.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
×

Preface

Electricity and the underlying infrastructure for its production, transmission, and distribution are essential to the health and prosperity of all Americans. It is important to make investments that increase the reliability of the power system within reasonable cost constraints. However, the system is complex and vulnerable. Despite all best efforts, it is impossible to avoid occasional, potentially large outages caused by natural disasters or pernicious physical or cyber attacks. This report focuses on large-area, long-duration outages—considered herein as blackouts that last several days or longer and extend over multiple service areas or states. When such major electricity outages do occur, economic costs can tally in the billions of dollars and lives can be lost. Hence, there is a critical need to increase the resilience of the U.S. electric power transmission and distribution system—so that major outages are less frequent, their impacts on society are reduced, and recovery is more rapid—and to learn from these experiences so that performance in the future is better.

The many high-profile electric-service interruptions that have occurred over the past two decades, along with recent efforts to enhance the capabilities of the nation’s electricity delivery system, prompted several observers to seek an independent review of the vulnerability and resilience of the nation’s electricity delivery system. In its 2014 appropriations for the Department of Energy (DOE), Congress called for an independent assessment to “conduct a national-level comprehensive study on the future resilience and reliability of the nation’s electric power transmission and distribution system. At a minimum, the report should include technological options for strengthening the capabilities of the nation’s power grid; a review of federal, state, industry, and academic research and development programs; and an evaluation of cybersecurity for energy delivery systems.”1

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine established the Committee on Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System to conduct the study. On the basis of this mandate, the National Academies asked the committee to address technical, policy, and institutional factors that might affect how modern technology can be implemented to improve the resilience of the electric system; recommend strategies and priorities for how this might be achieved; and identify barriers to its implementation. The full statement of task for the committee is shown in Appendix A. The biographies of the committee members that authored this report are contained in Appendix B.

Committee members included academicians, retirees from industry, current or former employees of state government agencies, and representatives of other organizations. They brought considerable expertise on the operation and regulation of electric power networks, security, and energy economics. The committee met six times in 2016 and 2017 to gather information from public sources (listed in Appendix D) and to discuss the key issues. It also held several conference calls.

The committee operated under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and is grateful for the able assistance of K. John Holmes, Linda Casola, Elizabeth Euller, Jordan Hoyt, Janki U. Patel, Ben A. Wender, E. Jonathan Yanger, and James Zucchetto of the National Academies’ staff.

___________________

1 H.R. 113-486, page 103.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Mr. William Ball, Southern Company Services, Inc.,

Mr. Joe Brannan, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation,

Dr. L. Berkley Davis, Jr. (NAE), GE Power & Water,

Mr. Phillip Harris, Tres Amigas LLC,

Dr. James L. Kirtley, Jr. (NAE), Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Dr. Butler W. Lampson (NAS/NAE), Microsoft Research,

Mr. Ralph LaRossa, Public Service Electric & Gas Company,

Mr. Jason McNamara, CNA,

Ms. Diane Munns, Environmental Defense Fund,

Mr. David K. Owens, Edison Electric Institute (retired),

Dr. William H. Press (NAS), The University of Texas, Austin

Dr. B. Don Russell (NAE), Texas A&M University,

Dr. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli (NAE), University of California, Berkeley,

Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III (NAE), Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.,

Mr. Rich Sedano, Regulatory Assistance Project, and

Dr. Paul Stockton, Sonecon, LLC.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Julia M. Phillips, NAE, Sandia National Laboratories (retired), and John G. Kassakian, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (retired). They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Boxes, Figures, and Tables

BOXES

S.1 Causes of Most Electricity System Outages

1.1 Examples of Outages on Bulk Power Systems and Their Consequences

2.1 Examples of Four Different Electric Operational/Reliability/Ownership Structures

2.2 Common Distribution System Reliability Metrics

2.3 Federal and State Policy Drivers of Change in the Electric System

2.4 Example Comments to the Committee on Distributed Energy Resource and Microgrid Deployments Across the United States

3.1 Summary of the Metcalf Substation Attack

3.2 Summary of the Cyber Attack on the Ukrainian Grid

3.3 Electromagnetic Pulse

4.1 Financial and Operational Benefits of Distribution Automation to Chattanooga Electric Power Board

4.2 Examples of Electric System Vulnerability to Disruptions in Natural Gas Infrastructure

4.3 Select Regulatory Actions Supporting Hardening, Modernization, and Other Preventative Investments

5.1 Consequences and Civic Response to Damage Caused by the Ice Storm of January 1998

5.2 Superstorm Sandy: Preparation, Emergency Response, and Restoration of Services

FIGURES

1.1 The relative frequency of outages in the U.S. bulk power system over the period from 1984 to 2015

1.2 (A) A four-stage process of resilience based on a framing by Flynn (2008) and as illustrated by NIAC (2010); (B) In the case of the hierarchically organized power system, these concepts apply at several different levels of the system with different specific actions and lessons; and (C) Illustration of scales of resilience processes

2.1 The bulk energy system encompasses the facilities and control systems for generation and transmission of electricity but does not include local distribution systems

2.2 Map of electric distribution utility service territories in the continental United States

2.3 The three large electric interconnections that span the United States, large parts of Canada, and a small part of Mexico

2.4 The North American transmission system

2.5 Map of regional transmission organizations’ (RTO) and independent system operators’ (ISO) service areas in the United States and Canada

2.6 End consumers can choose their electricity provider in restructured states (green), while other states have suspended restructuring activities (yellow) or never initiated them (white)

2.7 North American Electric Reliability Corporation reliability coordinators are responsible for ensuring reliability across multiple utility service territories

2.8 Fraction of customer meters with advanced meters by state in 2015

2.9 Schematic of possible electric system configurations and interactions in the future

2.10 Different ways in which the nature and scope of the future regulatory environment might evolve

2.11 Different ways in which distributed resources might evolve in the future

2.12 Under most state laws, there is legal distinction between a utility that serves a multi-story building with its own distributed energy resource and combined heat and power, as shown at the top of this figure, and the situation in which the same loads are distributed across space and are served by a small microgrid

2.13 Climate change can affect, and be affected by, the power system

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
×

2.14 Possible change in the sources and nature of bulk power

3.1 Mapping of events that can cause disruption of power systems

3.2 Illustration of distinct types of damages that can affect power systems

3.3 U.S. Geological Survey assessment of earthquake hazard across the United States

3.4 U.S. coastal locations that have experienced major tsunamis over the course of the past 1,000 years

3.5 Summary of the state of knowledge of how the frequency and intensity of various weather events may evolve over time

3.6 Map of tornado frequency from 1990 to 2009

3.7 Tornadoes show a strong (A) temporal and (B) seasonal variation

3.8 In 2006, a cluster of tornadoes caused damage across four states in 10 hours from one super cell

3.9 (A) Distribution of freezing rain from 1948 to 2000, (B) slight recent trend toward more events, and (C) best estimate of trend by region

3.10 (A) Ice accumulation of several inches on distribution lines caused these poles to collapse, and (B) images from the infamous 1998 ice storm across southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States

3.11 Example of a Federal Emergency Management Agency flood map for the Susquehanna River near West Pittston, Pennsylvania

3.12 (A) The region of hurricane risk is greatest on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States and (B) recent years have seen a trend of Atlantic hurricanes becoming more intense

3.13 Volcanic hazard map for the region around Mount Rainier

3.14 Notional time series of a major power outage divided into six stages

4.1 The process of considering and mitigating individual component vulnerability based on cost-performance optimization

4.2 (A) Following a major storm that disrupted service on many distribution circuits operated by Chattanooga Electric Power Board, automatic reconfiguration prevented outages for many customers (purple) and significantly reduced the number of circuits requiring manual repairs (green); and (B) such automation has greatly reduced the number of customer-hours (area under the curve) of outage experienced

4.3 (A) Installations of utility-scale battery storage have increased substantially over the last 5 years, (B) although growth is concentrated in a few areas and dominated by lithium-ion chemistries

4.4 2000-bus synthetic network sited in Texas

4.5 Disruption of any material or service that the electricity system relies on can result in loss of electric service and make restoration more challenging

4.6 Power system operating states

4.7 ISO New England control room

5.1 Installation of microgrids in 2015 and expected growth to 2020

5.2 Installation of “behind the meter” battery storage systems

6.1 Illustration of the general processes of restoration that occur on multiple levels by different institutions with responsibility for electricity restoration

6.2 Example of data integration to support advanced data analytics for improved restoration efforts

6.3 Three ABB single-phase 345 kV compact replacement transformers being moved from St. Louis, Missouri, to a substation in Houston, Texas, under a Department of Homeland Security demonstration project

6.4 Restoration of industrial control systems after a cyber breach

TABLES

2.1 Breakdown of Utilities That Own and Operate Generation, Transmission, or Distribution Infrastructure

2.2 Example Resilience Metrics Proposed by the Department of Energy-supported Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium

5.1 The Significant Variation in Estimated Financial Losses Suffered by Different Customer Classes Operating under Different Ambient Conditions as a Function of Varying Outage Duration

5.2 The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Matrix Concept Illustrates the High Amount of Interagency and Interdepartmental Coordination Required for Assessing and Responding to Threats to the Nation’s Vital Infrastructures

6.1 Summary of Selected Recommendations Made by the National Research Council in Its 2012 Report Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System, Together with the Committee’s Assessment of Where Things Now Stand

6A.1 Variation in Restoration Activities Across the Six Stages of the Life Cycle of an Outage Characterized by Damage to Physical Components, Monitoring and Control Systems, and Supporting Infrastructure, As Indicated in the Upper Right Corner of Figure 3.2

6A.2 Restoration Activities Across the Six Stages of the Life Cycle of an Outage from a Cyber Attack

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24836.
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Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, and regulated by thousands of different entities. Power system operators work hard to assure safe and reliable service, but large outages occasionally happen. Given the nature of the system, there is simply no way that outages can be completely avoided, no matter how much time and money is devoted to such an effort. The system’s reliability and resilience can be improved but never made perfect. Thus, system owners, operators, and regulators must prioritize their investments based on potential benefits.

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System focuses on identifying, developing, and implementing strategies to increase the power system’s resilience in the face of events that can cause large-area, long-duration outages: blackouts that extend over multiple service areas and last several days or longer. Resilience is not just about lessening the likelihood that these outages will occur. It is also about limiting the scope and impact of outages when they do occur, restoring power rapidly afterwards, and learning from these experiences to better deal with events in the future.

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