Spatial Statistical Analysis of Grid Optimization in Connecticut, Quantifying the Relationship Between Tree Trimming and Power Outages

Authors: Adam Gallaher*, Central Michigan University
Topics: Energy, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: GIS, Spatial Statistics, Electricity Resilience
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Cleveland 2, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Power grid reliability is emerging as a pivotal element for ensuring sustainable economic growth both in developing and developed nations. Vegetation management practices, and tree-trimming in particular play a fundamental role for ensuring this reliability because trees can be inherently interwoven among transmission lines posing risk to the distribution of electricity. Many utility companies have started implementing tree-trimming programs (TTPs) with the idea of reducing the number of tree-related outages, although these programs are costly when scaled-up. In the U.S., Connecticut is particularly exposed to the risks associated with long-term power outages (>5 minutes) due to its land cover/land use and increasing extreme storm events. Through access to a uniquely detailed panel dataset of outages and TTOs, and though a quasi-experimental approach, this paper identifies the relationship between TTOs and power outages reduction (both in duration and in number). The results of this work suggest that highly-urbanized and highly-forested counties receive most benefits, and that results greatly vary depending on the effects of extreme weather events. Results are useful to both utility companies and policymakers for formulating and supporting TTOs.

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