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Oak Ridge Lab-Built Algorithms Aim to Identify Power Grid Areas That Are Vulnerable to Climate Change

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power gridScientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created algorithms designed to help utilities and city planners identify electrical service locations across the southern U.S. that would be susceptible to climate change and population growth.

ORNL researchers merged climate simulations that run on the Titan supercomputer with population datasets to develop the algorithms, the national lab said July 29.

The scientists used the algorithms to analyze the potential impacts of predicted changes in population and temperature in nine states that include Alabama, Florida and Georgia through 2050.

“These results can affect how future service areas are defined and where new substation capacity within the national grid may need to be located,” said Melissa Allen, an ORNL scientist and one of the authors of the paper “Impacts of Climate Change on Sub-regional Electricity Demand and Distribution in the Southern United States.”

Allen co-authored the study with Mohammed Olama, Steven Fernandez and Joshua Fu.

The Energy Department’s office of science supported the research project in partnership with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

UT-Battelle, a joint venture of Battelle and the University of Tennessee, oversees the national lab for DOE.

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