Platts awarded the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) a Global Energy Award for grid optimization on December 12 in New York City for its development of a synchrophasor network. BPA is part of the Recovery Act-funded Western Interconnection Synchrophasor Program, in which 19 utilities have partnered with the Department of Energy to provide real-time visibility of the entire western power system that covers 14 states, two Canadian provinces and a portion of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Through a dedicated, secure network provided by Western Interconnection Synchrophasor Program, BPA is sharing synchrophasor data with 10 other utilities, furthering the understanding of the status and condition of the interconnection well beyond the agency's borders.
BPA’s network includes 126 phasor measurement units (PMUs) at substations and large wind generation sites throughout the Northwest that transmit precise power system readings (current, frequency and voltage) 60 times a second over a high-speed broadband network to BPA's control center, providing BPA's grid operators an unprecedented view of the power system's dynamic state. BPA also deployed sophisticated data management techniques to handle the tidal wave of real-time data. The agency is now collecting 137,000 measurements from across the grid every second. In addition, BPA developed an application engine to analyze the data in real time and alert dispatchers when the power system is at risk. Eventually, a wide-area response-based control scheme will use PMU measurements to assess the system and take necessary actions at substations within less than one second of an initiating disturbance. For more information, read the BPA press release.