Holyoke, MA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM)

ISO New England has completed its synchrophasor deployment in a three-year project that was supported by a smart grid investment grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – on schedule and under budget.

Under the Synchrophasor Infrastructure and Data Utilization (SIDU) project, ISO-NE and the regional transmission owners installed nearly 80 PMUs at 40 substations in New England, phasor data concentrators (PDCs) at the ISO and seven transmission owners, as well as the communication infrastructure to support PMU data streaming from the substations to the transmission owners and then to the ISO.

In addition was installed:

  • Alstom's PhasorPoint application for enhanced wide area monitoring and situational awareness
  • V&R Energy System Research's Region of Stability Existence (ROSE) application to compute the real time operational stability boundary and margin
  • In-house developed Data Quality Management System (DQMS) application to monitor and alert on PMU data quality issues.

According to an ISO-NE statement the SIDU project has already achieved immediate benefits for New England by enabling the monitoring of system dynamics that was previously not possible, fast and accurate post-event analysis, and validating and improving power system models.

Earlier this year, SIDU data recently captured and alerted the ISO of a voltage oscillation that occurred without any system disturbance, lasted for about three minutes, and then disappeared suddenly. The data enabled the ISO to determine the origin and propagation of the oscillation. The ISO is now working with the source to help prevent future occurrences.

In July 2013, a forest fire in Canada tripped multiple transmission lines, resulting in the loss of about 1,750 MW of imports from Hydro Quebec. ISO operations logs give the approximate time of the line trips. However, by using PMU data, the event sequences were captured at millisecond accuracy across a wide area. This capability enabled engineers to understand what exactly happened to the grid, and how the system behaved before, during, and after the disturbance.

Last year, a single-phase-to-ground fault occurred at a power plant causing a transmission line to trip. From the PMU data, the ISO could see that the line was transiently blocked during the fault; after the fault was cleared, power flow recovered to the pre-fault level at a certain ramp slope. However, the ISO’s simulation model did exhibit the same result as the PMU measurement. Having identified the deficiency, the ISO worked with a vendor to improve the model, which has since shown improved consistency with the actual PMU measurements.

With this infrastructure in place, New England now has the technology platform on which the next generation of monitoring and analysis tools will be developed. Over the coming years, the ISO will explore advanced applications to determine the potential integration of PMU data in the operation of the power system. Ultimately, the SIDU project is expected to provide the region with improved reliability through enhanced situational awareness, faster response to real time system events, and new system restoration capabilities.

A notable aspect of the project, according to the statement, was the identification of over $3 million in cost savings opportunities as implementation of the project began, which reduced the initial $18 million cost to $14.9 million. Of this the DOE contributed $6.4 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, with the ISO and the region’s transmission owners covered the remaining $8.5 million.