Blueprint for Iteratively Hardening Power Grids Employing Unified Power Flow Controllers

William M. Siever
Ann K. Miller, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Daniel R. Tauritz, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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A stable electricity supply is vital for modern society. However, many parts of our power transmission grid are operating near their operational limits. Such stressed systems are vulnerable to cascading failures, where a few small faults can induce a cascade of failures potentially leading to a major blackout The unified power flow controller (UPFC), the most powerful highspeed, semi-conductor based power flow device, can be used as a theoretical model to study how these devices can be used to improve power grid resilience. The blueprint presented here can be used to iteratively identify critical weaknesses in power grids and to recommend a means of fixing these weaknesses via the installation of UPFCs. This approach to hardening the power transmission grid will make it less prone to blackouts and better able to forestall or reduce the severity of unavoidable blackouts.