Optimizing the Location and Configuration of Disaster Resilience Hubs Under Transportation and Electric Power Network Failures: Article No. 101079

Daniel Rodriguez-Roman, Hector Carlo, Joshua Sperling, Andrew Duvall, Ruben Leoncio-Caban, Carla del Puerto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural disasters often result in failures of transportation network components and blackouts that imperil the wellbeing of vulnerable populations. In response to these events, resilience hubs have been proposed as a pre-disaster planning strategy to improve access to critical services. This paper introduces an optimization-based approach to locate and configure electric power-generating resilience hubs considering the possibility of failures in transportation and electric power systems. The model's objective is to identify hub locations and configurations that maximize transportation accessibility to the hubs and maximize the satisfaction of basic energy needs through hub-generated electric power. Besides a budget constraint, the model accounts for limits on the levels of hub energy generation vis-a-vis community energy demands, and on the transportation network distance of communities to hubs. Three heuristics are presented for the proposed planning problem. The first heuristic is a genetic algorithm (GA) with problem-specific solution generation procedures. The other two heuristics implement greedy search techniques. Numerical experiments were conducted, using data from rural Puerto Rico, to illustrate the application of the proposed model and heuristics, and examine their performance. In the numerical experiments, the GA heuristic found better solutions than the greedy heuristics. Additionally, design solutions consisting of spatially dispersed hubs with low energy generation capacity were better than solutions with spatially concentrated high-capacity hubs. Lastly, across a wide range of hub demand scenarios, only a small number of candidate hub locations consistently ranked among the best locations for establishing a hub.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-89393


  • accessibility
  • disasters
  • energy
  • facility location
  • resilience
  • transportation networks


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