"Large-scale data analysis for power grid resilience" is among Nature Energy’s "Favourites after Five"

<p>Chuanyi Ji</p>

Chuanyi Ji

A paper written by Chuanyi Ji and her colleagues has been considered among past and present editors’ favorite papers published in Nature Energy in the last five years. To mark the fifth anniversary of the publication, these editors shared summaries and commentaries on this and eight other papers in the January 2021 issue. 

The title of the paper by Ji et al. is “Large-scale data analysis of power grid resilience across multiple US service regions.” It was published in the May 2016 issue of Nature Energy. In this paper, the authors analyze data from four major service regions representing Upstate New York, both during normal operations and Super Storm Sandy, which took place in fall 2012. The study shows that extreme weather does not cause, but rather worsens, existing vulnerabilities, which are obscured in daily operations. 

This study demonstrates the important role of data science in studying the resilience of the operational energy grid. The paper provides insights on the impact of extreme weather events on the grid infrastructure and customers. The methodology developed also helps policy-makers and utility companies to decide where investments are most effective in order to improve the resilience of the infrastructure. 

An associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ji wrote this paper with 11 colleagues. They are Yun Wei and Henry Mei, ECE Ph.D. students advised by Ji; Jorge Calzada and Robert Wilcox, with National Grid in Waltham, Massachusetts; Matthew Carey, Gregory Stella, and Matthew Wallace, with the New York State Public Service Commission in Albany, New York; Steve Church, with New York State Electric and Gas Corporation, Binghamton, New York; Timothy Hayes, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation in Poughkeepsie, New York; and Brian Nugent and Joe White, with Orange & Rockland Utilities in Pearl River, New York. 

Elisa De Ranieri, who is now the editor-in-chief at Nature Communications, remarked on the paper by saying, “It is [also] inspiring to see how several service providers and regulators collaborated and shared their data to solve a common problem: the structural resilience of a power grid affecting users in a region spanning 130,000 square kilometers. This approach could serve as an example for replication elsewhere.”

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Jackie Nemeth

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering