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RISK-DSAM Risk-based Distribution System Asses Management

Asset management is a relatively new concept for electricity distribution companies in Norway. The concept is gaining momentum as a way to cope maintenance and renewal of a generally aging infrastructure under increasing requirements from various stakeholders; owners, authorities, regulators, and customers.

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However, the implementation of risk based methods for asset management imposes significant changes for distribution companies, in particular related to the way they handle the risks related to the maintenance and renewal of their networks.

The project provided relevant background and knowledge for the implementation of risk based asset management in distribution companies.

RISK DSAM was a five year competence building project at SINTEF Energy Research, sponsored by the Norwegian Research Council in the RENERGI programme, 9 network companies in Norway and France and ELFORSK Sweden.

The project has addressed this issue through:

  • Identifying the challenges distribution companies are facing
  • Providing basic definitions of concepts and facilitating understanding of what risk based asset management is for a distribution business
  • Providing guidelines for the selection of risk indicators, asset categorization and for designing risk based asset maintenance and reinvestment strategies.
  • Investigating and proposing methods that can be used for risk based asset management, with focus on maintenance and reinvestment decision making. The methods explored include: qualitative risk analyses (coarse risk analyses, risk matrices), quantitative risk analyses (Bayesian Networks, Bow-Tie models) and multi-criteria decision support under uncertainty.


The main objective of the project was to increase competence by exploring methods and develop methodologies for decision support in risk management of electricity distribution companies.

The project had also the following partial goals:

  • Educate one PhD candidate within the scope of the project
  • Develop courses for asset managers and others in cooperation with our partners and university collaborators on the projects issues
  • Achieve a high rate of publishing in periodicals, publications with referee and national and international conferences
  • Identify and launch new research projects.

Project partners

  • The following electricity distribution companies in Norway: Agder Energi Nett, BKK Nett, Istad Nett, Skagerak Energi Nett, Trondheim Energi Nett, Hafslund Nett AS, Lyse Nett AS, Fredrikstad EnergiNett AS, Eidsiva Energi AS
  • EdF R&D in France
  • ELFORSK in Sweden

Research partners:

  • University of Porto/INESC in Portugal
  • Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland
  • Institute of Research in Economics and Administration (SNF) in Bergen, Norway
  • SINTEF Industrial Management, Department of Safety and Reliability, NTNU Faculty of Information Technology, Mathematics and Electrical Engineer
  • NTNU Institute of Psychology

Main results:

The main technical reports written during the project are the following:

  • Current risk exposure in the distribution sector.
  • Risk indicators for distribution system asset management
  • Guidelines to risk-based categorization of distribution system assets
  • General framework for reinvestment management
  • General framework for maintenance management
  • A risk based model supporting long term maintenance and reinvestment strategy decision making
  • A guide to Risk Based Maintenance and Reinvestment Management

An important project result was the PhD study completed and defended by Dag Eirik Nordgård in 2010: Risk Analysis for Decision Support in Electricity Distribution System Asset Management - Methods and frameworks for analyzing intangible risks

During the project we participated in 13 international conferences with more than 24 contributions. We have

International collaboration has been an important part of the project. The project has benefited from collaboration with our research partners in Portugal (INESC Porto), Finland (LUT), France (EdF) and Norway (SNF).

We have also been active in several important international meeting arenas: IEA ENARD Annex III Infrastructure asset management, CIGRE Working group WG C1.16 on Transmission Asset Risk Management (CIGRE Technical Brochure 422) and the SmartLife initiative (CIRED Workshop Proceedings, 2010). Our contribution has been very well received and we have thus the confirmation of its value at international level.

During the project period we have had 5 Advisory Committee meetings, 6 International Workshops, 2 national workshops and many bilateral meetings with Norwegian distribution companies.

The project also supported 3 summer internships involving two students from France and one from Norway.

The curriculum for a new course at NTNU (EVU course) has been developed using RISK –DSAM project results. The course is addressed to engineers and asset managers from electricity distribution companies.


Publication/presentations Date and place
Exploring uncertainty in quantitative risk assessment used for electricity distribution system asset management
Dag Eirik Nordgård
ESREL 2009
7-10 September , Praha
Risk assessment methods applied to electricity distribution system asset management
Dag Eirik Nordgård, Kjell Sand, Ivar Wangensteen
Establishing a risk-based maintenance strategy for electricity distribution companies
Dag Eirik Nordgård, Knut Samdal
Incorporating risk analysis and multi- criteria decision making in electricity distribution system asset management
Maria D.Catrinu, Dag E. Nordgård
Risk assessment as an integrated part of distribution system reinvestment analysis
Oddbjørn Gjerde, Dag Eirik Nordgård
CIRED 2009
8-11 June, Praha
Experiences using Quantitative Risk Assessment in Distribution System Maintenancen Management
Dag Eirik Nordgård, Geir Solum
Methods for maintenance and reinvestment strategy making in distribution systems
M.D.Catrinu, A.Nybø, M.K.Istad
Reinvestment strategy making for distribution networks
Maria Catrinu, Agnes Nybø, Dag Eirik Nordgård
8-9 September, Bergen
Performance indicators for Distribution System Risk Management
Kjell Sand, Maria Catrinu
Risk communication and perception challenges in electricity distribution maintenance and reinvestment management
Dag Eirik Nordgård
Risk assessment as an integrated part of distribution system reinvestment project analysis
Dag Eirik Nordgård, Oddbjørn Gjerde
Application of Bayesian Belief Networks in Electricity distribution system maintenance management
Dag Eirik Nordgård, Kjell Sand
ESREL 2008
22-25 September, Valencia
Quantitative risk assessment in distribution system maintenance management using bow-tie modelling
Dag Eirik Nordgård
 PSCC 2008 - 16th Power Systems Computation Conference,
14-18 July, Glasgow
Application of Bayesian Networks’ in distribution system risk management
Kjell Sand, Sylvie Bonnoit, Jean Aupied
PMAPS 2008 - 10th International Conference on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems,
25-29 May, Puerto Rico
Risk Based Decisions for Reinvestments in Distribution Systems
Maren Istad, Dag Eirik Nordgård, Oddbjørn Gjerde, Maria D. Catrinu, Agnes Nybø, Bjørn E Birkeland
A risk based approach to electricity distribution system asset management
Dag Eirik Nordgård, Maren Istad, Kjell Sand
EuroMaintenance 2008
8-10 April, Brussels
Morgendagens nettforvaltning
Kjell Sand
ELEKTRO, no 4/07
Risikovurderinger gir bedre vedlikeholdsstyring
Dag Eirik Nordgård
ELEKTRO, no 4/07
A risk based approach to Distribution System Asset Management; Results from a survey of perceived risk exposure among distribution companies
Oddbjørn Gjerde Dag Eirik Nordgård Kjell Sand, Jukka Lassila Jarmo Partanen, Sylvie Bonnoit, Jean Aupied
CIRED 2007
21-24 May, Vienna
Multi-criteria decision support in distribution system asset management
Maria D.Catrinu, Dag E. Nordgård, Kjell Sand, Jane-Kristin Norhagen
Risk based Maintenance
Knut Samdal
Marcus Evans Conference
Risk based Distribution System Asset Management – looking ahead
Kjell Sand
CIGRE Seminario Internacional
Buenos Aires.
Risk based Distribution System Asset Management – the Norwegian experience
Kjell Sand
Risk based Distribution System Asset Management
Dag Eirik Nordgård
 NORDAC 2006
21-22 August, Stockholm


RISK DSAM was a five year competence building project at SINTEF Energy Research, sponsored by the Norwegian Research Council in the RENERGI programme, 9 network companies in Norway and France and ELFORSK Sweden.


Key Factors

Project duration

2006 - 2010