Geomagnetically induced currents (GIC), occurring during magnetic storms, pose a natural disaster risk to the reliable operation of electric power transmission grids.
The EURISGIC EU/FP7 project will produce the first European-wide real-time prototype forecast service of GIC in power systems, based on in-situ solar wind observations and comprehensive simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere.
By utilising geomagnetic recordings, we will also derive the first map of the statistical risk of large GIC throughout Europe. Because the most intense geomagnetic storms constitute the most remarkable threat, with a risk of power grid blackouts and destruction of transformers, we will also investigate worst-case GIC scenarios based on historical data.
EURISGIC will exploit the knowledge and advanced modelling methods developed in Europe and North America. Close communication throughout the project with a stakeholder advisory group will help in directing the research and outreach appropriately.
The results of this study will help in the future design of more robust and secure protection against GIC in power transmission grids in Europe, which are anticipated to become increasingly interconnected and geographically wider.
GIC are observed in power transmission grids, oil and gas pipelines, telecommunication cables and railways. This project focuses on high-voltage power transmission networks, which are probably currently the most susceptible to GIC effects.
Geomagnetic storms cover large geographical regions, at times the whole globe. Consequently, power networks are rightly described as being European critical infrastructures whose disruption or destruction would have a significant impact on at least two member states.