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Critical Substation Risk Assessment and Mitigation
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Substations are joints in the power system that represent nodes that are vital to stable and reliable operation of the power system. They contrast the rest of the power system in that they are a dense combination of critical components causing all of them to be simultaneously vulnerable to one isolated incident: weather, attack, or other common failure modes. Undoubtedly, the loss of these vital links will have a severe impact to the to the power grid to varying degrees. This work creates a cascading model based on protection system misoperations to estimate system risk from loss-of-substation events in order to assess each substation's criticality. A continuation power flow method is utilized for estimating voltage collapse during cascades. Transient stability is included through the use of a supervised machine learning algorithm called random forests. These forests allow for fast, robust and accurate prediction of transient stability during loss-of-substation initiated cascades. Substation risk indices are incorporated into a preventative optimal power flow (OPF) to reduce the risk of critical substations. This risk-based dispatch represents an easily scalable, robust algorithm for reducing risk associated with substation losses. This new dispatch allows operators to operate at a higher cost operating point for short periods in which substations may likely be lost, such as large weather events, likely attacks, etc. and significantly reduce system risk associated with those losses. System risk is then studied considering the interaction of a power grid utility trying to protect their critical substations under a constrained budget and a potential attacker with insider information on critical substations. This is studied under a zero-sum game theoretic framework in which the utility is trying to confuse the attacker. A model is then developed to analyze how a utility may create a robust strategy of protection that cannot be heavily exploited while taking advantage of any mistakes potential attackers may make.
- Doctoral Dissertations