EPRI to direct large scale test of utility data on Western Europe’s transmission grid


Arshad Mansoor,
Vice President
for Power Delivery
and Utilization
Palo Alto, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 5, 2009 – The European Union for the Co-Ordination of Transmission of Electricity (UCTE) and the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), along with 10 European and American companies, will conduct one of the largest tests to date of systems to move and exchange utility operations data of Western Europe’s electric transmission system.

The tests will be conducted later this month at the facilities of France’s transmission system operator, RTE France, in Paris.

Because Western Europe’s power grid is a complex interconnection of the systems of many countries, the exchange of data and integrity of the data in the various systems’ “interoperability” are crucial in achieving greater reliability and safety for the overall grid.

The week-long test will focus on data exchanges using the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Common Information Model standard. It will comprise a series of tests using three data models, enabling the UCTE and EPRI to confirm the accurate and complete transmittal and exchange of test data, even as the data are processed by the various countries’ operating systems.

“The CIM model is an important platform for the seamless communications of data protocols that will enable development of a smart grid,” said Arshad Mansoor, EPRI vice president for Power Delivery and Utilization.

A number of systems have been developed to enable the movement of data over high voltage transmission lines. The Western European system uses its own data exchange design. As grids become more interconnected and interactive, communicating with smart meters and other technologies, the interoperability of utility systems and various technologies has become a crucial area in technology research and development.

The test is being funded by the participating utilities and vendors, under EPRI’s direction. It is anticipated that the capabilities being tested in the Common Information Model will be transferable to the U.S. power grid, with minor changes.

UCTE is the association of transmission system operators in continental Europe, with responsibility for coordinating the operation and development of the electricity transmission grid across the internal electricity market.

The EPRI conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public.