The electric grid is a highly complex system that requires sophistication in managing it in a safe, reliable and efficient way. In many ways, today's power system must be operated to meet objectives for which it was not explicitly designed. Today's transmission system is operated to transfer larger amounts of energy than were considered when it was built, and it is operated much closer to its design margin. Generation resources are constrained and increasingly more variable and uncertain.
In this environment, it is imperative that operators be provided with good information based on real-time data regarding the status of the grid, as well as decision-making support information to respond to rapid changes in the future. EPRI’s Grid Operations research is addressing how to improve real-time situational awareness, use synchrophasor measurements for assessing system stability, reactive power support, and voltage stability margins, as well as what capabilities are required to manage the grid through extreme events and to restore the system in the event of an outage.