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A Spatial Analytics Framework to Investigate Electric Power-Failure Events and Their Causes

Center for Information Systems and Technology, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(1), 54;
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
The U.S. electric-power infrastructure urgently needs renovation. Recent major power outages in California, New York, Texas, and Florida have highlighted U.S. electric-power unreliability. The media have discussed the U.S. aging power infrastructure and the Public Utilities Commission has demanded a comprehensive review of the causes of recent power outages. This paper explores geographic information systems (GIS) and a spatially enhanced predictive power-outage model to address: How may spatial analytics enhance our understanding of power outages? To answer this research question, we developed a spatial analysis framework that utilities can use to investigate power-failure events and their causes. Analysis revealed areas of statistically significant power outages due to multiple causes. This study’s GIS model can help to advance smart-grid reliability by, for example, elucidating power-failure root causes, defining a data-responsive blackout solution, or implementing a continuous monitoring and management solution. We unveil a novel use of spatial analytics to enhance power-outage understanding. Future work may involve connecting to virtually any type of streaming-data feed and transforming GIS applications into frontline decision applications, showing power-outage incidents as they occur. GIS can be a major resource for electronic-inspection systems to lower the duration of customer outages, improve crew response time, as well as reduce labor and overtime costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial analytics; power-failure; GIS; smart-grid spatial analytics; power-failure; GIS; smart-grid
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Sultan, V.; Hilton, B. A Spatial Analytics Framework to Investigate Electric Power-Failure Events and Their Causes. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 54.

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