Slow-coherency-based controlled islanding - A demonstration of the approach on the August 14, 2003 blackout scenario

Bo Yang, Vijay Vittal, Gerald T. Heydt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations


This paper demonstrates the use of a slow-coherency-based generator grouping algorithm and a graph theoretic approach to form controlled islands as a last resort to prevent cascading outages following large disturbances. The proposed technique is applied to a 30 000-bus, 5000-generator, 2004 summer peak load, Eastern Interconnection data and demonstrated on the August 14, 2003 blackout scenario. Adaptive rate of frequency decline-based load shedding schemes are used in the load rich islands to control frequency. The simulation results presented show the advantage of the proposed method in containing the impact of the disturbance within the islands formed and in preventing the impact of the disturbance from propagating to the rest of the system. This is demonstrated by the significant reduction in line flows in the rest of the system and by improved voltage and relative angle characteristics. Based on the suggestion in the joint U.S.-Canadian task force final report on the blackout, load shedding without any islanding is also performed, and results obtained are compared with the proposed controlled islanding method. The islanding method outperforms the load shedding-only method in reducing the transmission line flows, but both methods have similar effects on voltage and relative angle behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1840-1847
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Blackout prevention
  • Islanding
  • Load shedding
  • Power system stability
  • Slow coherency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Slow-coherency-based controlled islanding - A demonstration of the approach on the August 14, 2003 blackout scenario'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this