Quantifying Operational Resilience Benefits of the Smart Grid

February 9, 2021


Cheyney O’FallonAvi Gopstein


Automated systems for network protection, outage management, and restoration enable utilities to maintain service continuity through network reconfiguration even when confronted with a major hurricane. We employ a reduced form approach to evaluate the impact of interoperability investments on distribution system resilience and the propensity for customers to suffer sustained interruptions to their electric service during Hurricane Irma. This manuscript presents evidence that the expected number of interruption hours sustained during that hurricane was relatively lower for regions of the Florida distribution grid that made more interoperability enhancing investments, all else equal. We use advanced metering infrastructure penetration as a proxy and leading indicator of investment in interoperability enhancements. Employing only publicly available data resources, we conservatively estimate that Florida counties that made these enhanced interoperability investments realized nearly $ 1.7 billion of operational resilience benefits in the form of avoided customer interruption costs during Hurricane Irma.
Technical Note (NIST TN) – 2137
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