CEMS - The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Research by Paul Hines featured in Scientific American

Release Date: 08-14-2008

Author: Dawn Marie Densmore
Email: Dawn.Densmore@uvm.edu
Phone: Array Fax: 802-656-8802

A research paper entitled "Trends in the History of Large Blackouts in the United States" by Paul Hines, Jay Apt, and Sarosh Talukdar and published in Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) General Meeting is featured in the August 2008 Scientific American article entitled "The 2003 Northeast Blackout – Five Years Later" by JR Minkel. Dr. Paul Hines is assistant professor of engineering at UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS).

The research by Hines and colleagues shows that despite efforts to mitigate blackout risk, the data available from the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) for 1984-2006 indicate that the frequency of large blackouts in the United States is not decreasing. Current statistics indicate that a 2003-level blackout will occur every 25 years.

Hines says, "While the evidence certainly indicates that cascading blackouts are inherent to the complexity of electrical power grids, I see room for improvement. I do believe that we can reduce the frequency of 2003-sized blackouts to less than one in 25 years."

For more information, contact Paul Hines at paul.hines@uvm.edu.

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