Office of Electricity

Recognizing the People Behind the Technology: NASPI Awards

May 2, 2018

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A core component of a modernized power grid is synchrophasors, a technology which uses systems of phasor measurement units (PMUs) to measure electric power system values and time-synchronize it using GPS satellites. This is important because it provides system operators with a near real-time snapshot of the grid’s operating status. Last week, industry representatives, researchers, and vendors gathered in Albuquerque, NM for the North American SynchroPhasor Initiative (NASPI) annual Work Group meeting. They shared knowledge and discussed advances in this important technology.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) is proud to partner with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to support NASPI in its work to the deployment and use of these invaluable devices and for the development of important applications such as wide-area monitoring, power system planning, and forensic analysis of grid disturbances.

For the fourth year in a row, NASPI recognized the significant accomplishments and contributions of its members. This year’s awardees are listed below.

On behalf of the Department of Energy, I would like to say congratulations and thank you to all of the award winners for your commitment, innovation, and hard work to continue advancing this vitally important technology!

 

Outstanding Utility – San Diego Gas & Electric

SDG&E was an early PMU adopter and now has a large PMU deployment.  They are using synchrophasor technology to modernize wide-area situational awareness and on-line and off-line operations support.  They are pioneering distribution-level PMU uses and innovative transmission monitoring.

Synchrophasor Champion – Tariq Rahman, SDG&E

Tariq oversees all synchrophasor projects at SDG&E, which now has full PMU coverage of its high-voltage transmission system and many creative uses for PMUs, including generator and microgrid monitoring.  Tariq has been an outstanding evangelist for synchrophasor technology.

Alison Silverstein (NSPI Project Manager) with Tariq Rahman & Hassan Ghoudjehbakbu (SDG&E); Silverstein & Rahman
Alison Silverstein (NSPI Project Manager) with Tariq Rahman & Hassan Ghoudjehbaklou (SDG&E); Silverstein & Rahman

Outstanding Reliability Coordinator – Peak Reliability Coordinator

Peak RC uses over 300 of its members’ PMUs for real-time high-speed monitoring and situational awareness across the 16-state Western Interconnection.  Peak uses pioneering software for baselining, oscillation and voltage monitoring, model verification, linear state estimation, and more.  Peak has been a strong contributor and leader within NASPI and the industry.

Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) with Hongming Zhang & Alex Ning (Peak RC)
Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) with Hongming Zhang & Alex Ning (Peak RC)

Lifetime Achievement Award – Vahid Madani (PG&E, retired)

Vahid Madani recognized the potential of synchrophasor technology to improve grid operations and reliability early on.  His commitment and industry leadership over two decades at PG&E greatly accelerated the maturity, adoption and use of synchrophasor technology.

Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) and Vahid Madani
Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) and Vahid Madani

Control Room Solutions Task Team Most Valuable Player – Dr. Sarma (NDR) Nuthalapati (Peak Reliability Coordinator)

NDR has been a huge contributor to the CRSTT’s efforts to help control room operators understand and use PMU data.  He has led development of the Oscillation Detection and Phase Angle Alarming papers and contributed to the video event library and other papers.  His knowledge and enthusiasm encourage others to do better.

 

Data & Network Management Task Team Most Valuable Player – Tony Faris (Bonneville Power Administration)

Tony pioneered industry efforts for PMU functionality, performance and interoperability testing.  His work on PMU data quality and management and, recently, on alternative data archive technologies will enable future synchrophasor-based analytics that are impossible today.  Tony has been exemplary at sharing and teaching BPA’s insights with others through NASPI and elsewhere.

 

Distribution Task Team Most Valuable Player – Dr. Sascha von Meier, California Institute for Energy & Environment

Sascha accepted the challenge of standing up and leading NASPI’s Distribution Task Team in 2016.  Since then, the DisTT has attracted many new members, produced an excellent technical paper, and has more foundational technical work under way on emerging distribution opportunities and analytical methods.

Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) & Dr. Alexandra von Meier (CIEE, UC Berkeley)
Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) & Dr. Alexandra von Meier (CIEE, UC Berkeley)

Engineering Analysis Task Team Most Valuable Player – Dr. Brett Amidan (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

After several years applying artificial intelligence tools to PMU data, Brett is leading and coordinating EATT activity on data mining techniques and tools.  This technical paper will be valuable for the entire industry.

Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) & Dr. Brett Amidan (PNNL)
Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) & Dr. Brett Amidan (PNNL)

Performance Requirements, Standards & Verification Task Team Most Valuable Player -- Dr. Allen Goldstein (National Institute for Standards & Technology)

Allen has been a steadfast leader and contributor to the standardization and performance testing and quantification of PMUs and synchrophasor measurement.  He has led the IEEE ICAP Test Suite refinement, revisions to the PMU test guide (C37.242), and the Phasor Application Requirements Task Force applications testing effort.  He has been a strong contributor to the PRSVTT, IEEE-PES and the industry as a whole.

Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) & Dr. Allen Goldstein (NIST)
Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) & Dr. Allen Goldstein (NIST)

Outstanding Graduate Student (1) -- Jiecheng (Jeff) Zhao (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

As a graduate student, Jeff has contributed to a number of important synchrophasor initiatives, including examining the impact of measurement error on synchrophasor applications, developing a novel ultra-fast PMU for dynamic transient monitoring, improved FDR quality, and worked on machine learning for data authentication and cyber-security.  He has shared this work through NASPI.

Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) and Jiecheng (Jeff) Zhao (UT Knoxville)
Alison Silverstein (NASPI Project Manager) and Jiecheng (Jeff) Zhao (UT Knoxville)

Outstanding Graduate Student (2) -- Ling (Ellen) Wu (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

Ellen has been instrumental in supporting NERC’s wide-area oscillation event analysis, developing FDR datasets and illustrative videos of oscillations to improve industry awareness.  This work contributed to the success of the NASPI-NERC-IEEE Forced Oscillations Technical Workshop.