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access icon openaccess Data‐driven operation of the resilient electric grid: A case of COVID‐19


Electrical energy is a vital part of modern life, and expectations for grid resilience to allow a continuous and reliable energy supply has tremendously increased even during adverse events (e.g. Ukraine cyberattack, Hurricane Maria). The global pandemic COVID‐19 has raised the electric energy reliability risk due to potential workforce disruptions, supply chain interruptions, and increased possible cybersecurity threats. Additionally, the pandemic introduces a significant degree of uncertainty to the grid operation in the presence of other challenges including aging power grids, high proliferation of distributed generation, market mechanism, and active distribution network. This situation increases the need for measures for the resiliency of power grids to mitigate the impact of the pandemic as well as simultaneous extreme events including cyberattacks and adverse weather events. Solutions to manage such an adverse scenario will be multi‐fold: (a) emergency planning and organisational support, (b) following safety protocol, (c) utilising enhanced automation and sensing for situational awareness, and (d) integration of advanced technologies and data points for ML‐driven enhanced decision support. Enhanced digitalisation and automation resulted in better network visibility at various levels, including generation, transmission, and distribution. These data or information can be employed to take advantage of advanced machine learning techniques for automation and increased power grid resilience. In this paper, the resilience of power grids in the face of pandemics is explored and various machine learning tools that can be helpful to augment human operators are discused by: (a) reviewing the impact of COVID‐19 on power grid operations and actions taken by operators/organisations to minimise the impact of COVID‐19, and (b) presenting recently developed tools and concepts of machine learning and artificial intelligence that can be applied to increase the resiliency of power systems in normal and extreme scenarios such as the COVID‐19 pandemic.

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