Virtual WN@tL: “How to reduce the risk of wildfire ignitions from electric power grids?”
May 19 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Speaker: Line Roald; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Description: Even the best run grid is not completely fault-free, meaning that there will occasionally be sparks from power lines. In situations with high wildfire risk, this means that utilities are caught in a really hard position: Should they turn off the power grid and face public outrage (and possible fines) for power outages? Or should they keep power on, facing potential financial liability of starting a fire?
In the presentation, we will discuss how a power grid ignites wildfires, what electric utilities can do to prevent it and how this may cause power outages to customers. I will present our recent research on how to minimize both wildfire risk and power outages in situations with high wildfire risk, which begins to answer the question of how to find the right trade-off between the two.
Bio: Line Roald is an Assistant Professor and Grainger Institute Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in University of Wisconsin—Madison. She received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering (2016) from ETH Zurich, Switzerland and was a post-doctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and the UW Madison ECE Outstanding Graduate Mentoring award. Her research interests center around modeling and optimization of energy systems, with a particular focus on managing uncertainty and risk from renewable energy variability and component failures.