MISO Uses Real-Time Synchrophasor Technologies to Enhance Reliability

MISO recently became one of the first grid operators across the country to utilize new synchrophasor technology in its Real-Time System Operations for grid monitoring and analysis, a major milestone in furthering the U.S. Department of Energy's goal of revitalizing the nation's electric grid through the use of sophisticated, innovative monitoring devices.

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.

"Incorporating these new technologies into real-time operations greatly increases our situational awareness of grid activity, and is essential to our effort to modernize the grid. Synchrophasor technologies provide us with unprecedented data on situations that could radically affect reliability," said Richard Doying, Executive Vice President of Operations and Corporate Services.  "With these devices, we've extended our ability to see ongoing system conditions, providing additional assurance that consumers are benefiting from improved reliability and predictability," Doying added. 

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. 

"MISO has exceeded our expectations in the deployment and application of synchrophasor technologies for assessing and managing grid conditions," said Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. "Their implementation of the technology is a big step toward the DOE's goal to modernize the electric power grid."

About MISO's Synchrophasor Project

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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