U.S. Energy Department Invests $10 Million in Software for Grids

The U.S. Energy Department is spending more than $10 million to deploy software that will improve the efficiency of electrical grids.

The agency is investing in six projects in five states -- California, Hawaii, Missouri, North Carolina and Washington -- to implement software that improves synchrophasor technology to monitor power grids, according to an e-mailed statement today. Synchrophasors measure voltage and frequency on grids.

Peak Reliability will receive $3.9 million to develop automated control systems, the largest award. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was awarded $2.9 million to improve its synchrophasor software and Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. is getting $1.4 million to develop monitoring software. Other recipients include Electric Power Group and Hawaiian Electric Co.

“By partnering with utilities and software developers, the Energy Department can help the U.S. electric industry maintain more reliable and resilient power systems,” Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary for the Energy Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability, said in the statement.

There are about 1,700 synchrophasors connected to the U.S. power grid, compared with 200 in 2009.

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