The electric power grid can be negatively affected by events such as physical attacks and natural disasters. In comparison, the underground natural gas pipeline-based network is considered less vulnerable to threats.
To counter extreme events that severely damage interdependent infrastructures, we considered the option of replacing segments of the electric power grid with underground natural gas pipelines as an energy transmission system. This project investigated an extension of power-system planning to consider extreme events and identify the feasibility of solving problems with advanced modeling and optimization methods that include consideration of the natural gas pipeline network. The proposed planning framework was formulated as a two-stage optimization problem. We found that integrated planning introduces the additional cost of pipeline planning and operational constraints. However, gas pipelines are generally less exposed to extreme events and, therefore, provide more resilient electrical power transmission. Thus, the proposed integrated expansion of the electrical grid and natural gas network was considered optimal due to the potential for enhancing power grid resilience.
This project leveraged Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's capabilities in critical infrastructure resilience, e.g., modeling of extreme events and co-simulation of critical infrastructures, and data science, e.g., predictive modeling and simulation. This research supports the Laboratory's mission focus in energy and resource security and enhances core competencies in high-performance computing, simulation, and data science.
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