Office of Electricity

OE Announces Investment in New Research to Improve Grid Reliability through Enhanced Visibility

October 19, 2016

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Today, at the North American SynchroPhasor Initiative (NASPI) meeting in Seattle, I announced over $5 million in fundamental research that will allow electric sector organizations in California, New York, and Tennessee to develop synchrophasor applications in two important areas: reliability management and asset management. Synchrophasors, which use systems of phasor measurement units (PMUs) to measure data and time-synchronize it using GPS satellites, provide system operators with a near real-time snapshot of the grid’s operating status. Having this kind of visibility into the health of the grid allows grid operators to manage their systems more efficiently, integrate new generation sources, and improve reliability.

This announcement is the latest step in DOE’s ongoing commitment to continue improving the reliability, resiliency, and flexibility of the nation’s electric grid, and it builds on previous funding supporting the deployment of synchrophasor technologies across the United States.  Investments in these advanced technologies and tools are helping the electricity industry detect and minimize system problems, and better manage and respond to disruptions, leading to reduced outages and restoration times. As part of our long collaboration with industry and the public sector to advance and accelerate the use of this important technology, the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) partners with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to support NASPI, a collaborative effort among industry, government, academia, national laboratories, and vendors to advance the adoption and value of synchrophasor technology for grid reliability and efficiency. Such partnerships are vital.

This investment is a part of DOE’s larger Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI). GMI represents a DOE-wide collaboration, with primary funding support coming from the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis.  DOE National Laboratories are participating across GMI’s technology areas in a coordinated strategic partnership called the Grid Modernization Lab Consortium (GMLC).

The four projects selected for awards are outlined below. Final award amounts are subject to negotiation.

Recipient: Electric Power Group, LLC (EPG)
Project Title: Real Time Applications Using Linear State Estimation Technology
Location:  Pasadena, CA                   

EPG will design, develop, implement, and demonstrate real-time reliability applications using synchrophasor data and linear state estimator technology.  These applications will provide grid operators with real-time, actionable intelligence on contingencies, voltage margins, and phase angle limits.     

DOE Funds:                 $1,293,109
Cost Share:                  $1,308,000
Total Project Value:     $2,601,109

Recipient: Electric Power Group, LLC (EPG)
Project Title: Substation Secondary Asset Health Monitoring and Management System
Location: Pasadena, CA                    

EPG will design, develop, and demonstrate a real-time software application that can detect equipment malfunctions at an early stage and alert utility personnel so they can quickly diagnose the malfunction and take appropriate actions to prevent equipment failure and customer outages.

DOE Funds:                 $700,315
Cost Share:                  $700,506
Total Project Value:     $1,400,821

Recipient: General Electric Company (GE)
Project Title: Operationalizing Synchrophasors for Enhanced Electric Grid Reliability and Asset Utilization
Location: Niskayuna, NY                  

GE will develop and demonstrate multiple production-grade synchrophasor applications that will enhance system planning and operations leveraging existing grid infrastructure. The applications will provide real-time and predictive capabilities to alleviate grid stress; provide guidance to operators for blackstart restoration, and disturbance management; and assist with component-level and system-wide model validation to achieve compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) standards.

DOE Funds:                 $1,958,904
Cost Share:                  $1,958,904
Total Project Value:     $3,917,808

Recipient: Grid Protection Alliance (GPA)
Project Title: Advanced Synchrophasor Protocol (ASP) Development and Demonstration Project
Location:  Chattanooga, TN  

GPA will create a new data exchange protocol for synchrophasor data, allowing for the creation of dynamically-configurable data packets. This application will significantly improve the quality and robustness of the synchrophasor data exchange layer that functions as the foundation for reliability management tools.  This new protocol will lower capital costs and operating costs.

DOE Funds:                 $1,083,368
Cost Share:                  $1,100,991
Total Project Value:     $2,184,359

For more information about DOE’s efforts to ensure a resilient, reliable, and flexible electricity system, visit the OE website.