Bonneville Power Administration selects PMU for WISP Program

Pullman, WA. November 23, 2010. Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) announced that Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) selected the SEL-487E Station Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) for BPA’s PMU installation in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s (WECC) Western Interconnect Synchrophasor Project (WISP).

BPA plans to install approximately 160 phasor measurement units throughout the Northwest over the next three years. Program goals include situational awareness, wide-area control and protection, model validation, system performance, and event analysis. To implement system integrity protection schemes (SIPS) based on wide-area, time-synchronized phasor measurements, BPA developed a strict set of PMU requirements to meet their needs beyond those defined in the IEEE C37.118-2005 standard. The wide-area SIPS will improve the reliability and overall stability of the electric grid in the western United States.

Ten different PMU vendors participated in the rigorous evaluation. Each vendor was given details of BPA’s performance criteria along with a test plan describing the methodology and specific test procedures. BPA performed all testing in their Vancouver, Washington, laboratory. PMU evaluation criteria included measurement performance and functionality of particular features. Performance tests measured steady-state accuracy, harmonic rejection, out-of-band rejection, modulation response, and dynamic response.

Functionality tests included conformance to IEEE C37.118 in data format, testing communications, and more subjective tests, such as ease of use, software, cost, quality, and customer support.

SEL was the only PMU vendor selected as a result of this thorough evaluation process. “SEL has worked hard to make synchronous measurement and control of power systems practical, affordable, and included as standard. BPA has pioneered the use of synchrophasors from the beginning. We are excited to see their interests in control as well as measurement and look forward to opportunities to try some new ideas, like recipe technology, with BPA,” said  SEL President Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III.

BPA, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a not-for-profit federal electric utility that operates a high-voltage transmission grid comprising more than 15,000 miles of lines and associated substations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. It markets more than a third of the electricity consumed in the Pacific Northwest and sells power produced at 31 federal dams, one northwest nuclear plant, and several other nonfederal power plants to more than 140 Northwest utilities. BPA also purchases power from seven wind projects and has more than 3,000 megawatts of wind interconnected to its transmission system.


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