The establishment of competitive electricity markets worldwide, the deregulation of the electricity industry, and the response of the industry to the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 have resulted in both very large and very small Balancing Authorities, greater operational complexities, and new reliability management needs at the wide-area level. Both the industry and government organizations responsible for different aspects of reliability management are adapting and responding to these new developments. This ongoing evolution of the industry and the increasing numbers of major blackouts around the world spotlight the need for wide-area visibility of the health of power systems and real-time monitoring of electrical grid reliability performance in order to prevent blackouts. Traditional real-time monitoring tools, real-time hardware-software architectures, and user interfaces all developed for vertical integrated environments have proven to be inadequate for the development of the new wide-area intelligent tools and visualizations required to operate and manage the evolving electrical grid.
This paper describes the new reliability management needs and organizations emerging at the wide-area level; new hardware-software user-interface configurations; intelligent alerts and alarming and geo-graphic multi-view visualization technologies resulting from the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solution's (CERTS) research, and tailored and applied by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation's (NERC) functional organizations for wide-area real-time resources adequacy monitoring, and intelligent alert and alarming tools currently in use by about 75 operational organizations in North America.