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DOE offers $9 million in cost-sharing for outage detection technology projects


From the October 7, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published October 7, 2013

By Jeannine Anderson
Editor

The Department of Energy said it will provide up to $9 million in cost-shared funding for new rapid-response technologies to respond to abnormal grid conditions and help detect outages. Applications are due on Dec. 2.

In a funding opportunity announcement, "Pre-Commercial Synchrophasor Research and Demonstration," DOE says it is seeking teams of utilities and software developers to develop advanced software that would improve the operational reliability of the grid. DOE said it wants to build on projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that have installed more than 1,000 synchrophasor measurement units across the United States.

"Use of synchrophasor data from phasor measurement units (PMUs) is considered to be the most promising tool to monitor modern electric power systems," DOE said. "PMUs have the capability of measuring AC voltage and current magnitudes and phase angles at rates several orders of magnitude faster than possible with today’s system monitoring and control networks. More importantly, each measurement taken has a very precise (on the order of microseconds) time stamp associated with it. Data from the PMUs define synchrophasors that can be used to determine dynamic power flow in electrical grids by comparing phase angles at several points in the grid."

Information gathered this way "improves situational awareness of grid conditions and promotes real-time wide-area visibility," DOE said.

"Our priority is to develop a clearer understanding of the health of the grid and to drive partnerships and collaboration with application developers and the utility industry," said Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman. "Integrating data from sensors on the transmission system into utilities’ analysis tools will help utilities gain better visibility into conditions affecting the reliability of the grid."

Applicant project teams must include, at a minimum, one utility and one software vendor/developer.

The funding opportunity announcement, "Pre-Commercial Synchrophasor Research and Demonstration," is posted on Grants.gov and on FedConnect.net.

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