EPRI to coordinate power grid monitoring, synchrophasor initiative

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will coordinate the community meetings of the North American Synchrophasor Initiative (NASPI) through 2015.

NASPI is a collaborative effort among the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), EPRI, and North American electric utilities, vendors, consultants, federal and private researchers and academics.

Since the establishment of NASPI in 2006, DOE and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) have funded NASPI meetings and work. Beginning in January 2014, DOE will take over the principal funding role and EPRI will work with NASPI as its meeting coordinator.

NASPI’s mission is to improve power system reliability and visibility through wide-area measurement and control. It is a collaborative working to advance the deployment and use of networked phasor measurement devices, phasor data-sharing, applications development and use, and research and analysis.

Synchrophasor data applications include wide-area monitoring, real-time operations, power system planning, and forensic analysis of grid disturbances.

Phasor technology is expected to facilitate integration of renewable and intermittent resources, automated controls for transmission and demand response, increasing transmission system capacity, and improving system modeling and planning.

“Situational awareness plays a critical role in improving the reliability and resiliency of the nation’s electric grid,” said Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability at the Department of Energy. “DOE’s support of the NASPI initiative is helping utilities and system operators across the nation gain a faster, more accurate understanding of the status of the grid, allowing them to respond more quickly and efficiently when disruptions occur.”

EPRI Vice President of Power Delivery and Utilization Mark McGranaghan noted that EPRI’s work with the NASPI initiative comes at a critical time. “The expertise and focus represented by the NASPI community is a tremendous resource for the industry. We have a great opportunity to coordinate EPRI R&D activities with the goals and efforts of this initiative to advance applications for wide-area measurement and monitoring of the electric grid.”

“NERC is gratified that EPRI and DOE are continuing the important work of advancing synchrophasor deployments and development,” said Thomas Burgess, vice president and director of Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis at NERC. “NERC will continue its involvement with the project in a long-term advisory capacity. Synchrophasor development and applications technology are part of the foundation for enhanced reliable bulk-power system operations and we look forward to continuing our relationship with NASPI.”

DOE has invested almost $200 million in the deployment of phasor measurement units in North America, which has been matched by utilities and transmission operator investments. Many of these projects were initiated as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 under the Smart Grid Investment Grant program.

These investments have resulted in the installation nearly 1,000 production-grade phasor measurement units across the high-voltage electric grid, providing the potential for improved wide-area situational awareness and real-time applications.

NASPI’s focus for the next two years will be advancing applications to maximize value from the technology.

NASPI has contributed to the successful design and deployment of synchrophasor systems, developed numerous technical interoperability standards relating to phasor measurement unit capabilities and data communications, advanced the breadth and capabilities of synchrophasor data applications, and worked to gain public appreciation for the value of the technology for grid operations.

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