As evidenced by recent occurrences such as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, the 2003 Northeast blackout, extreme events pose an enormous threat to the nation's electric grid and the socio-economic systems that depend on reliable delivery of power. Despite the economic costs and social hardships of such events, utilities are unable to adequately plan and prepare for them. Power systems are vulnerable to extreme contingencies (like an outage of a major generating substation or transmission line) that can cause significant generation and load loss and can lead to further cascading outages of other transmission facilities and generators in the system. These could put the power system into 'Alert' state which the operators restore into normal state with corrective controls. Generally, there is sufficient time to implement these actions. However, the possibility of further contingencies as well as collapse conditions can push the system into an emergency state. The operators need to take less common and faster control actions (like customer power disruptions) to protect the system from further collapse.
Prevention of possible power system collapse scenarios needs both long-term planning and operational intelligence that can identify optimal emergency controls to ensure that the system can be operated both reliably and economically. This panel will cover implementation of emergency controls using Dynamic Contingency Analysis Tool (DCAT): DCAT provides a hybrid dynamic/steady-state approach to analyzing cascading outages resulting from extreme contingencies; modal analysis for inter-area oscillation detection in real time; and detecting and mitigating imminent voltage collapse using steady-state optimization.