Distributionally Robust Optimization for a Resilient Transmission Grid During Geomagnetic Disturbances

Mowen Lu, Sandra D. Eksioglu, Scott J. Mason, Russell Bent, Harsha Nagarajan

In recent years, there have been increasing concerns about the impacts of geomagnetic disturbances (GMDs) on electrical power systems. Geomagnetically-induced currents (GICs) can saturate transformers, induce hot-spot heating and increase reactive power losses. Unpredictable GMDs caused by solar storms can significantly increase the risk of transformer failure. In this paper, we develop a two-stage, distributionally robust (DR) optimization formulation that models uncertain GMDs and mitigates the effects of GICs on power systems through existing system controls (e.g., line switching, generator re-dispatch, and load shedding). This model assumes an ambiguity set of probability distributions for induced geo-electric fields which capture uncertain magnitudes and orientations of a GMD event. We employ state-of-the-art linear relaxation methods and reformulate the problem as a two-stage DR model. We use this formulation to develop a decomposition framework for solving the problem. We demonstrate the approach on the modified Epri21 system and show that the DR optimization method effectively handles prediction errors of GMD events.

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