Grid Resilience Study in Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia had been experiencing increasingly severe weather systems, largely due to global climate change. These extreme weather events posed a threat to LUCELEC’s critical infrastructure. Recognizing that the current grid in St. Lucia was not built to withstand the strongest storms, particularly Category 5 and above, LUCELEC aimed to update its grid construction standards and implement measures to enhance system resilience. This was in response to the anticipated increase in severity and frequency of Atlantic storms resulting from climate change.
To prepare for these actions, LUCELEC enlisted the services of the K&M Team to conduct a comprehensive study addressing two key areas:
- Establishing a method to measure the existing grid resilience and setting annual resilience targets.
- Analyzing the electrical network infrastructure in St. Lucia through inspections, models, and other tools to identify a series of projects that would enhance the resilience of the transmission and distribution networks, generation assets, and LUCELEC’s solar farm.
Throughout the study, K&M developed a reliability metric to track LUCELEC’s progress in improving system resilience. This involved reviewing and analyzing system data, conducting interviews with LUCELEC’s senior staff, performing on-site visits, and identifying a prioritized pipeline of climate resilience projects. The ultimate objective was to enable LUCELEC to formulate a specific grid resilience improvement plan.
During the course of the study, K&M successfully developed a reliability metric that would allow LUCELEC to measure their progress in enhancing system resilience. They conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of system data, engaged in interviews with LUCELEC’s senior staff, conducted on-site visits, identified a pipeline of climate resilience projects, and prioritized them accordingly. The outcome of the study empowered LUCELEC to develop a targeted grid resilience improvement plan.
K&M was engaged by the World Bank to assess the impact of extreme weather events on St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda. This is part of a series of World Bank initiatives to improve the Caribbean islands’ resilience to extreme weather events. K&M is the prime contractor, and POWER Engineers is the subcontractor.
K&M performed assessments of the past two extreme weather events on the power systems of the Caribbean islands listed above, identifying risks and vulnerabilities, recommending energy resilience measures for generation assets and T&D systems, and developing an investment plan to undertake the measures. K&M first collected data on the islands’ power systems, and then analyzed extreme weather events’ impacts. The assessments involved interviewing the islands’ utilities (undertaken by POWER) and evaluating prior power system vulnerability studies. Under the direction of K&M, POWER conducted physical and engineering inspections of the most vulnerable power system assets identified by the utility personnel, and a reliability and criticality assessment. The reliability and criticality assessment involved the following tasks: analyzing system reliability, identifying elements that could cause power service interruption, identifying substation and T&D locations subject to flooding, and understanding system performance under contingencies by reviewing T&D system studies.