Ezra's Round Table / Systems Seminar: Mostafa Sahraei-Ardakani (Utah)


Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall 253


Power Grid Operation During Severe Weather: Application of Stochastic Optimization and Machine Learning

Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, are the leading cause of power outage in the United States. The outages are mainly due to the damage and failure of transmission and distribution elements. While distribution-level failures cannot usually be alleviated with enhanced operation, transmission failures can be mitigated through a preventive power system dispatch. To calculate a preventive dispatch, weather forecast should be used to predict line outage probabilities. These probabilities, should, then, be integrated within grid operation problems, resulting in extremely large stochastic mixed-integer linear programs. Unfortunately, due to the size of the uncertainty set and presence of integer variables, the formulated problems cannot be solved within the industry time limits.

This talk discusses three techniques that we have developed to substantially reduce the solution time. First, enhanced formulation and constraint screening were established to improve tractability. Second, an efficient scenario selection method was created to handle the combinatorial uncertainty set. Third, machine learning was adopted to further improve the solution time, through the use of earlier weather forecast. Together, these methods enable computation of an efficient preventive dispatch within strict industry limits, resulting in reduced power outages.

Mostafa Ardakani is an associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Utah. His research focuses on power systems optimization, power systems resilience, interdependent infrastructure networks, energy economics and policy, and energy justice. Dr. Ardakani holds a Ph.D. degree in energy engineering from The Pennsylvania State University as well as a B.S. and an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from University of Tehran. Prior to joining the University of Utah, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at Arizona State University. Dr. Ardakani is a recipient of 2022 NSF CAREER award.