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The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected seven projects for awards totaling approximately $1.4 million to help colleges and universities better prepare the electricity industry workforce of the future. Use of synchrophasor data from Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) is considered to be a promising tool to monitor modern electric power systems, and identify and respond to deteriorating or abnormal grid conditions more quickly. Thanks to Recovery Act funding, more than 800 PMUs are being installed at strategic locations across the nation’s transmission system. However, only a limited number of professionals, researchers, and students have the knowledge and expertise to understand and analyze the high-speed, time-synchronized data that will be generated by the deployment of these devices. 

These awards will provide researchers and students with access to data provided by their utility collaborators and will create an opportunity for academic institutions to collaborate with other stakeholders to expand their graduate and undergraduate engineering curricula in grid dynamics, process simulation, control, and analysis tools. Students and researchers will receive hands-on simulator-based training experience and learn how commercial-scale power plants and systems respond dynamically to grid oscillations and system disturbances, and to stress from high power demands. The awards are also intended to facilitate the development of curricula and skills needed for better understanding of the complex conditions of the smart grid environment.

The seven projects selected for awards are listed below. All of the awards are based on a competitive solicitation and are subject to negotiation.

  • Washington State University (Pullman, WA): A Collaborative Educational Program on Synchrophasor Applications for Smart Electric Grid. 
    DOE share $200,000; recipient share $1,173,612. 
  • North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC): Development of a Multi-User Network Testbed for Wide-Area Monitoring and Control of Power Systems Using Distributed Synchrophasors. 
    DOE share $200,000; recipient share $50,000.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) (Chicago, IL): IIT-Industry Collaboration: Synchrophasor Engineering Research and Training. 
    DOE share $200,000; recipient share $50,001.
  • University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY): Advancing Synchrophasor Applications and Training through Academic-Industry Collaborations.  
    DOE share $199,978; recipient share $142,160.
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, VA): Data Mining and Playback of Hybrid Synchrophasor Data for Research and Education. 
    DOE share $199,995; recipient share $50,024.
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX): Collaborative Industry-Academic Synchrophasor Engineering Program. 
    DOE share $199,951; recipient share $50,000.
  • Clemson University (Clemson, SC): Clemson University’s Synchrophasor Engineering Education Program. 
    DOE share $200,000; recipient share $50,000.