Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Alfred E. Thal, Jr., PhD


The United States (U.S.) electric grid is considered one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century, yet it become apparent over the past few decades that it is not without its own set of problems. The deregulation of the U.S. electric system in the late 1990s eliminated monopolies and resulted in the nation's generation, transmission, and distribution systems becoming separate entities owned and operated by multiple companies. This created a market economy in which many electric companies failed to plan for the future, did not invest in maintenance and upgrades, and began to push the aggregate system to its maximum capacity. A number of cascading power outages in the late 1990s, culminated by the complete blackout of the northeastern U.S. in 2003, have subsequently caused the federal government to question the reliability of the nation's deregulated electric grid and take action to remedy current issues. Therefore, the objective of this study was to leverage the trend and spatial analysis capabilities embedded in typical geographic information system (GIS) platforms to examine power outage data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Utilizing the industry standard for GIS, ArcGIS, interpolation using the inverse distance weighted approach was used to calculate preliminary vulnerability levels at military installations based on EIA’s power outage database from 2000 to 2009. The results of the study offer insight that will help key stakeholders better understand the state of the nation's electric grid and identify areas of concern. This allows stakeholders to be in a better position to address associated vulnerabilities by making appropriate plans for either system upgrades or mitigation efforts.

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