Western Electricity Coordinating Council Smart Grid Project
Western Electricity Coordinating Council, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, will receive $53.9 million in funding to develop a smarter energy grid. The U.S. Department of Energy selected Western Electricity Coordinating Council as one of 100 companies to receive federal stimulus funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) and eight of its member transmission owners are deploying synchrophasor devices throughout the U.S. portion of the Western Interconnection. The project aims to improve electric system reliability and restoration procedures and prevent the spread of local outages to neighboring regions. The project also could improve the grid integration of renewable resources. Phasor measurement units, phasor data concentrators, communication systems, information technology infrastructure and advanced transmission software applications are being deployed in the project. These systems increase grid operators’ visibility of bulk power system conditions in near real-time, enable earlier detection of problems that threaten grid stability or cause outages, and facilitate sharing of information with neighboring control areas. Having access to better system operating information allows WECC staff to improve power system models and analysis tools, thus improving the reliability and operating efficiency of the bulk power system.