NASPI Work Group Meeting

NASPI (North American SynchroPhasor Initiative) has been funding a large-scale deployment and application of Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) in the electric power grid. This relatively small advance in technology is expected to lead to major improvements in the reliability and efficiency of the grid. The NASPI Work Group, an informal organization of the people concerned with NASPI, has been meeting two or three times a year since 2006. This organization has been developing standards and interoperability guidelines needed to meet the NASPI goals. This is a brief report on my experience at the 2013 NASPI Work Group meeting that was held in Chicago on October 22-24, 2013.

This particular meeting marked a milestone in the history of NASPI. It was the last NASPI Task Force meeting to be funded by the NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation), and it was expected to be the end of the cooperative NASPI effort. However, shortly before the Chicago meeting, it was announced that a new funding source had been found, extending NASPI’s lifetime by two years. Funding will come from the US DOE and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  [Do a site search, with keywords “Reorganization Plan (October 2013)", at:] In recognition of the great progress already made, NASPI will adopt new vision, mission, and scope statements.

The October NASPI Task Force meeting was therefore both a look backwards at what has been accomplished and a look forwards with initial discussion of the specific tasks in the coming two years. It began with a keynote address by a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Energy. The meeting was chaired by Jeff Daigle, a DOE-funded PNNL employee, and by Alison Silverstein. Alison kept on a tight schedule, including over 40 presentations in two 9-hour days. The complete agenda appears on the NASPI web site at:

The agenda also included 20 technical presentations on topics that included data quality and delivery, standards, testing, and compatibility, and PMU timekeeping. Of particular interest to USC ISI was a talk on “Software-defined Networks and Critical Infrastructure” by consultant Dan Lutter.