We describe a simulation-based optimization method that allocates additional capacity to transmission lines in order to minimize the expected value of the load shed due to a cascading blackout. Estimation of the load-shed distribution is accomplished via the ORNL-PSerc-Alaska (OPA) simulation model, which solves a sequence of linear programs. Key to achieving an effective algorithm is the use of a High-Throughput Computing environment that allocates computational resources on a platform of more than 14,000 cores simultaneously among several users. We discuss also important implementation details necessary to achieve effective implementation in this massive-scale computing environment. In the end, we demonstrate a prototype computation that reduces the expected load shed by 76% allocating only 1.1% of the installed capacity. The massive-scale computation is made possible using the computational platform provided through HTCondor, effectively obtaining over five months of CPU time in just over one day.
View High Throughput Computing for Massive Scenario Analysis and Optimization to Minimize Cascading Blackout Risk