MISO using synchrophasors to boost reliability

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The Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) is now using synchrophasor technology in MISO's Real-Time System Operations for grid monitoring and analysis.

According to the power grid operator, synchrophasor technologies use phasor measurement units, or PMUs, to collect data from more than 344 installed devices, 30 times per second compared to traditional technology which records measurements every four seconds.

The data is GPS time-stamped, enabling measurements from different locations to be time-synchronized and combined to create a detailed, comprehensive wide-area assessment of system conditions. With this data MISO can better detect, diagnose and prevent system disruptions, in effect, creating a smarter grid.

Synchrophasors provide immediate value by enhancing MISO's ability to simulate and troubleshoot the bulk power system, bringing a new level of situational awareness to grid operators. With synchrophasors, MISO's system operators now view vital voltage and current measurements at any one of hundreds of strategic points along the interconnected transmission network at a level that was previously impossible to reach.

In 2010, MISO was among 100 recipients of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Smart Grid Investment Grant awards. MISO received a $17.25 million grant to fund the development and deployment of PMUs as part of the DOE's effort to modernize the power grid and leads the industry in use and installation of the devices. MISO members received a one-year extension to install additional synchrophasors at no extra cost, further improving grid reliability and predictability.

As part of the project, MISO's team of engineers pioneered a new feature for Control Room displays called enhanced Real-Time Display or (eRTD) to give system operators a unique geospatial visualization of grid activity. eRTD also provides two-way visualization of real-time grid activity, so now participating transmission owners have the advantage of seeing the same displays as MISO control room operators.

The three-year project came in on time and under budget, and involved 17 MISO Transmission Owners. Next, MISO intends to continue seeking new ways to extend the value gained from this technology by integrating it into our state estimator tool, incorporating use of the technology with additional transmission owners, and data sharing with the entire Eastern Interconnection.

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