Battling the Extreme: A Study on the Power System Resilience

Zhaohong Bie, Yanling Lin, Gengfeng Li, Furong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

507 Citations (SciVal)


The electricity infrastructure is a critical lifeline system and of utmost importance to our daily lives. Power system resilience characterizes the ability to resist, adapt to, and timely recover from disruptions. The resilient power system is intended to cope with low probability, high risk extreme events including extreme natural disasters and man-made attacks. With an increasing awareness of such threats, the resilience of power systems has become a top priority for many countries. Facing the pressing urgency for resilience studies, the objective of this paper is to investigate the resilience of power systems. It summarizes practices taken by governments, utilities, and researchers to increase power system resilience. Based on a thorough review on the existing metrics system and evaluation methodologies, we present the concept, metrics, and a quantitative framework for power system resilience evaluation. Then, system hardening strategies and smart grid technologies as means to increase system resilience are discussed, with an emphasis on the new technologies such as topology reconfiguration, microgrids, and distribution automation; to illustrate how to increase system resilience against extreme events, we propose a load restoration framework based on smart distribution technology. The proposed method is applied on two test systems to validify its effectiveness. In the end, challenges to the power system resilience are discussed, including extreme event modeling, practical barriers, interdependence with other critical infrastructures, etc.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7893706
Pages (from-to)1253-1266
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number7
Early online date6 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Critical infrastructure
  • extreme event
  • natural disaster
  • power system
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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