Improving Grid Operator Situational Awareness by Combining Space and Time

“This is what the dispatchers have been wanting to do for a very long time.” – Ed Kovler, Lead Solutions Architect, PJM Interconnect
Report Wed 12 Sep 2018

PJM Interconnection is responsible for maintaining grid reliability and running energy markets across 13 states and the Washington DC area. As one of the largest transmission operators in the country, they serve 61 million people and manage a peak load of 163,000 megawatts. To improve its operators’ situational awareness, PJM recently developed the Dispatch Interactive Map Application (DIMA), which brings together real-time grid, weather and spatial data using ESRI ArcGIS and the OSIsoft® PI System.

Mr. DiCiccio and Mr. Kovler opened the talk by describing some of the background and challenges prior to having DIMA available. PJM “developed its GIS system about 10-15 years ago...in the transmission planning portion of PJM.” Mr. DiCiccio explained, “we were just using it to see the distribution of transmission lines and stations and to see where projects would be interconnecting on the system. We didn’t really need it to be super accurate in terms of geography...we would use GIS to produce presentations and reports.”

Mr. DiCiccio said, “as [the GIS system] got more visibility, it moved to an enterprise-wide solution.” He went on to highlight some of the challenges around this evolution. PJM “needed to integrate [GIS] with other data bases and information.” PJM uses the PI System as the data infrastructure; however, it was difficult to integrate “all the 1.6 million PI Tags [we] have at PJM” to see “statuses of lines, flows on lines, megawatts and various other data that we do store in the PI System” with GIS.