Analysis, control, and economic impact assessment of major blackout events

Koji Yamashita, Sung Kwan Joo, Juan Li, Pei Zhang, Chen Ching Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Recent large-scale blackouts in North America, Europe, and other countries raised great concerns over the reliability of our electric energy infrastructure and the economic impacts of blackouts. These blackouts were caused by a cascading sequence of events involving line outages, overloading of other lines, malfunctions of protection systems, power oscillations and voltage problems, and system separation and collapse. In this paper, common characteristics of blackouts are identified by analyzing the cascaded events of the blackouts. It is important to take appropriate control actions to alleviate overload and emergency conditions in a power system in order to avoid catastrophic power outages. This paper discusses available control procedures and emergency control systems needed to help prevent catastrophic outages. Economic losses from these blackouts in the U.S., Europe, and other countries were significant. An evaluation of the economic costs of blackouts can be used to estimate the benefits of emergency control systems that can be installed to prevent blackouts. This paper provides an overview of the assessment methods and procedures for evaluation of the economic costs of blackouts. This paper also describes the generic procedure of an event study to measure the economic impact of blackouts on the values of the firms in financial markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)854-871
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Transactions on Electrical Power
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Nov


  • Blackouts
  • Cascaded events
  • Emergency control
  • Event study
  • Outage cost

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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