Ashley Pilipiszyn (Stanford University)
Extreme weather events pose an enormous and increasing threat to the nation’s electric power systems and the associated socio-economic systems that depend on reliable delivery of electric power. The US Department of Energy reported in 2015, almost a quarter of unplanned grid outages were caused by extreme weather events and variability in the environment. Because climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, communities everywhere will need to take steps to better prepare for, and if possible prevent major outages. While utilities have software tools available to help plan their daily and future operations, these tools do not include capabilities to help them plan for and recover from extreme events. Software for resilient design and recovery is not available commercially and research efforts in this area are preliminary. In this project, we are developing and deploying a suite of novel software tools to anticipate, absorb and recover from extreme events. The innovations in the project include the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning for distribution grid resilience, specifically, by using predictive analytics, image recognition and classification, and increased learning and problem-solving capabilities for the anticipation of grid events.