Observed Acceleration of Cascading Outages

Matthias Noebels, Ian Dobson, Mathaios Panteli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accounts of extreme power outages of transmission systems suggest the acceleration of cascading outage propagation over time and the splitting of the cascade into a slow phase and a subsequent fast phase. This is significant to network operators, as mitigation actions, such as load shedding, can only be effectively applied during the slow phase. During the fast phase, the network disintegrates too quickly for any manual intervention.
To supplement the accounts of extreme outages, we describe the observed acceleration of smaller and more common cascading outages by analyzing transmission outage data published by one North American utility. Our results show that these common cascades accelerate much less than the extreme cascades. This justifies ongoing research in mitigation strategies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Mar 2021


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