Power grid recovery after natural hazard impact

Natural hazards can affect the electricity supply and result in power outages which can trigger accidents, bring economic activity to a halt and hinder emergency response until electricity supply is restored to critical services. This study analyzes the impact of earthquakes, space weather and floods on the power grid recovery time. For this purpose, forensic analysis of the performance of the power grid during 16 earthquakes, 15 space weather events and 20 floods was carried out. The study concluded that different natural hazards affect the power grid in different ways. Earthquakes cause inertial damage to heavy equipment and brittle items, and ground failure and soil liquefaction can be devastating to electric infrastructure assets. Recovery time is driven by the balance of repairs and capabilities. Poor access to damaged facilities, due to landslides or traffic congestion, can also delay repairs. In this study, recovery time ranged from a few hours to months, but more frequently from 1 to 4 days. Floods are commonly associated with power outages.

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