Failure Probability Constrained AC Optimal Power Flow

Despite cascading failures being the central cause of blackouts in power transmission systems, existing operational and planning decisions are made largely by ignoring their underlying cascade potential. This paper posits a reliability-aware AC Optimal Power Flow formulation that seeks to design a dispatch point which has a low operator-specified likelihood of triggering a cascade starting from any single component outage. By exploiting a recently developed analytical model of the probability of component failure, our Failure Probability-constrained ACOPF (FP-ACOPF) utilizes the system's expected first failure time as a smoothly tunable and interpretable signature of cascade risk. We use techniques from bilevel optimization and numerical linear algebra to efficiently formulate and solve the FP-ACOPF using off-the-shelf solvers. Simulations on the IEEE 118-bus case show that, when compared to the unconstrained and N-1 security-constrained ACOPF, our probability-constrained dispatch points can delay the expected onset of cascades and reduce the probability of long severe cascades, by more than ten and two orders of magnitude, respectively, while incurring less than 1\% higher generation costs and load shedding.



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