• Risk analysis of Cordova's microgrid from a complex systems viewpoint

      Bowker, Anna Lipetzky; Newman, David; Huang, Daisy; Wackerbauer, Renate (2019-08)
      Cordova is a town of approximately 2,000 people located on the southern coast of Alaska. A power grid for a town this size, with a large seasonal fishing economy, is considered a moderate to large sized microgrid in terms of power produced. Understanding the vulnerabilities and risks of failures in such a grid is important for planning and operations and investigating these characteristics in the context of complex system dynamics is novel. The analysis of Cordova's microgrid is a case study relevant to a large class of microgrid communities that could benefit from this work. Our analysis of this grid began by looking at the distribution of all outages from 2003 - 2017 by size, followed by splitting up outages based on certain characteristics and again looking at outage size distribution based on different characteristics. Following this we correlated the outages with different weather patterns and then with the hourly load demand on the system. After doing these analyses we developed a risk metric to give a single numerical value to the risk of an outage occurring during certain time periods and under certain conditions. We looked at risk in the summer versus the winter due to the summer having a much larger load demand, and we also looked at the risk before and after all cables in the grid were buried underground. This gives us an idea of when/under what circumstances the most outages are likely to occur and allows us to run our model of the system, make changes, and determine if those changes were beneficial to the system or not.