The North American SynchroPhasor Initiative (NASPI), established in 2006, is working to improve power system reliability and visibility through wide-area measurement and control.
DOE has invested almost $200 million in the deployment of phasor measurement units in North America, which has been matched by utilities and transmission operator investments. Many of these projects were initiated as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 under the Smart Grid Investment Grant program. These investments have resulted in the installation nearly 1,000 production-grade phasor measurement units across the high-voltage electric grid, providing the potential for improved wide-area situational awareness and real-time applications.
NASPI’s focus for the next two years will be advancing applications to maximize value from the technology. NASPI is a collaborative effort among the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and North American electric utilities, vendors, consultants, federal and private researchers and academics.
Since NASPI’s establishment, DOE and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) have funded NASPI meetings and work. But, beginning in January 2014, DOE will take over the principal funding role and EPRI will work with NASPI as its meeting coordinator through 2015.
NASPI’s mission is to advance the deployment and use of networked phasor measurement devices, phasor data-sharing, applications development and use, and research and analysis. Synchrophasor data applications include wide-area monitoring, real-time operations, power system planning, and forensic analysis of grid disturbances. Phasor technology is expected to facilitate integration of renewable and intermittent resources, automated controls for transmission and demand response, increasing transmission system capacity, and improving system modeling and planning.
Situational awareness plays a critical role in improving the reliability and resiliency of the nation’s electric grid, according to DOE, which is supporting the NASPI initiative to help utilities gain a faster, more accurate understanding of the status of the grid, allowing them to respond more quickly and efficiently when disruptions occur.