IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2015 - 15

The DOE's investments in synchrophasor technology have demonstrated a strong set of uses,
bringing the value of PMUs to light. These investments, combined with extensive industry effort,
have produced technical standards and built a community of synchrophasor users and adherents
through the North American Synchrophasor Initiative (NASPI).

Early Research Initiatives
The DOE, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Bonneville Power Administration, and
the Western Area Power Administration funded and hosted the first PMU-based wide-area measurement and monitoring system (WAMS) in the 1990s to enhance real-time situational awareness. The
DOE then provided continuing funding to develop
several key applications, including tools for more
sophisticated real-time WAMS, mode monitoring,
oscillation detection, and pattern recognition tools.
The United States-Canada blackout of 2003 was
a stark reminder of the need for better situational
awareness into the bulk electric system. After the
2003 blackout investigation report recommended
the deployment of synchrophasor technology to
help prevent future occurrences, the DOE redoubled
its investments in synchrophasor R&D and formed
the Eastern Interconnection Phasor Project (EIPP) in 2003 to focus early industry efforts. These activities
were coordinated by the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions. (The Consortium for
Electric Reliability Technology Solutions, http://certs.lbl.gov, is a national laboratory, university, and
industry research consortium that was formed in 1998.) The DOE also funded a synchrometrology laboratory at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), to perform PMU testing. Between
2005 and 2014, the DOE funded over US$65 million in research, development, and demonstration projects to advance phasor data analytical tools, automated controls using phasor data, and synchrophasor
communications network design.

Exciting Opportunities
Lie Ahead in Development
and Deployment

Deploying Devices and Networks
In 2009, there were fewer than 500 research-grade PMUs installed across North America's transmission
grid. Few were networked to deliver real-time data, and none were used for real-time situational awareness. Today, thanks to private industry and federal investments (see Figure 1), there are almost 2,000
commercial-grade PMUs installed across the continent, delivering real-time grid condition data into
control rooms and engineering applications.
The rapid advances in PMU capability, availability, and connectivity were all spurred in 2009 by the
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, which funded federal Smart Grid Investment Grants and
Smart Grid Demonstration Projects with matching private funds. Eleven of these projects, involving
over 80 utilities and reliability coordinators, focused on deploying PMUs and synchrophasor applications and communications systems; another two projects included PMUs among a broader suite of
transmission and distribution automation efforts. These projects committed over US$325 million in
direct federal and private funds to PMU technology. And since those initial commitments were made,
private sector investments in synchrophasor technology have grown markedly.
Together, these synchrophasor projects led to a common set of requirements for PMU performance
and created "market pull" for vendors to create new devices to meet those performance requirements.
They tested much of the NASPI synchrophasor technology road map, created synchrophasor communications networks across much of the nation, established a cybersecurity foundation for these networks,

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http://certs.lbl.gov

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2015

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2015 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - September/October 2015 - Cover3
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