Midwest ISO reaches smart grid milestone


John R. Bear,
President & CEO,
Carmel, IN, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — May 16, 2011 – As part of a national effort to modernize the grid, the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) and its members have achieved a major milestone in their three-year smart grid program to install synchrophasors across the region, completing the integration of 44 such devices at strategic points along the regional transmission network.

The $34.5 million program is funded partly by $17.3 million in Recovery Act stimulus funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to modernize the nation’s electrical grid.

The synchrophasor program, which began March 30, 2010, aims to deploy 165 phasor measurement units (PMUs) at strategic substations in the MISO region.
“Synchrophasors bring a new level of situational awareness to grid operators,” said MISO president and chief executive officer. John R. Bear. “The ultimate goal of this three-year project is to enhance visibility of the network in real time so we can more quickly and accurately manage power flows within the Eastern Interconnection. Collaboration with our members on this smart grid technology has laid the foundation for using these advanced tools to enhance awareness of system stability.”

Synchrophasors will allow MISO’s grid operators to view vital measurements of real-time system conditions, including voltage, current and frequency, at a detailed level previously impossible to reach, offering a powerful visualization tool to anticipate and analyze potential disturbances. PMUs collect data 30 times every second, faster than the previous once every four seconds. Further, they also provide data essential for post-mortem analysis of stressful situations on the grid.  

MISO is now collecting synchrophasor data from the 44 member PMUs installed on 10 of its members’ systems.

MISO members in the project include Ameren, Duke Indiana, Great River Energy, Hoosier Energy, Indianapolis Power & Light, International Transmission Co., Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board, MidAmerican Energy Company, Minnesota Power, Northern Indiana Public Service Co., Otter Tail Power Company, and Vectren Corporation. More MISO members may join the program soon.

The next phase of the project consists of developing applications that will analyze the data collected so operators will have a clearer picture of stress points on the grid and can make adjustments accordingly.