Martí Rosas-Casals, Ricard Solé, Sergi Valverde

Paper #: 06-11-041

We present an analysis of the topological structure and static tolerance to errors and attacks of the September 2005 actualization of the Union for the Coordination of Transport of Electricity (UCTE) power grid, involving thirty-three different networks. Though every power grid studied has exponential degree distribution and most of them lack typical small-world topology, they display patterns of reaction to node loss similar to those observed in scale-free networks. We have found that the node removal behavior can be logarithmically related to the power grid size. This logarithmic behavior would suggest that, though size favors fragility, growth can reduce it. We conclude that, with the ever-growing demand for power and reliability, actual planning strategies to increase transmission systems would have to take into account this relative increase in vulnerability with size, in order to facilitate and improve the power grid design and functioning.