Building Grid Resilience in the Caribbean: K&M’s Current Endeavor
K&M expands Caribbean resilience work with a new engagement, building on past mandates to assess the impact of extreme weather events on power systems.
The Caribbean has been experiencing increasingly severe weather systems due to climate change globally. These extreme weather events threaten critical infrastructure, creating more severe damage and lengthening the recovery and restoration times. Many utilities worldwide are studying the impact of more severe events on grid infrastructure and the improvement of overall resilience to these events.
A utility in the Eastern Caribbean engaged K&M to review its grid infrastructure and develop a method of measuring current grid resilience. The study aims to identify a pipeline of projects that will increase the resiliency of the transmission and distribution networks, generation, and renewable energy assets and set annual resilience targets.
A resilience event is defined as a low probability, high consequence event. A resilience metric aims to establish a baseline for comparison of the improvements resulting from implementing resilience projects. Based on the research conducted by the advisory team, there is no industry standard for resilience metrics. Reliability metrics (SAIDI, SAIFI, CAIDI, and CAIFI) are widely used to measure the system interruptions and durations of interruptions; however, these are reported yearly and not on a per-event basis.
The two main approaches to resilience are as follows:
- 1. Set resilience targets to strengthen the grid to the point where the grid absorbs the event with no interruption.
- 2. Accept that there will be damages and set resilience targets to reduce the time required for restoration work by quickly identifying the location and type of damages and prioritizing the restoration efforts so the most critical parts of the infrastructure are restored first.
K&M is working with the utility to develop a resilience metric that allows utilities to measure their progress in improving system resilience, identify climate resilience projects, and prioritize these projects to build a specific grid resilience improvement plan.