1.4 Effect of Hurricanes on Electric Load in Southeastern USA

Monday, 7 January 2013: 11:45 AM
Room 6A (Austin Convention Center)
Jane A. Knight, TESLA, Inc., Richmond, VA

Power outages are commonplace during and after the landfall of hurricanes and tropical storms. Given an estimate of the magnitude of anticipated load loss based on the forecasted intensity and track of an approaching tropical system, utilities might be better able to arrange appropriate staffing levels for restoration crews, positioning sufficient personnel to reach the areas of expected outages as quickly as possible. Utilities could also benefit by being able to plan generation given the lower megawattage demanded, such as choosing to keep offline those generation assets that might be vulnerable to storm damage.

From the perspective of an energy-sector user of meteorological data – a load forecaster – this presentation will discuss research quantifying the impact of recent hurricanes and tropical storms, expressed in terms of megawatts of demand lost on an hourly basis during and after each such storm, that have affected major electric utilities in the Southeastern United States. The magnitude of the loss of load in megawatts and the length of time required to restore service to normal levels will be further analyzed as a function of the strength of the hurricane or tropical storm at landfall (as indicated by the storm's category on the Saffir-Simpson scale) and of the position of landfall relative to the service territory in question (i.e., whether or not the strong right-front quadrant of the storm passed over the utility's service area).

All electric demand data used for this research will be drawn from public domain load data published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and by PJM Interconnection. NCDC's Quality Controlled Local Climatological Data and NCDC's Storm Events Database will provide the meteorological explanatory variables in the load forecasting models used to estimate the magnitude of the power outages.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner