Wide area monitoring
One of the federal regulatory mandates to come out of the blackout of 2003 was more "wide-area monitoring," or keeping track of happenings at other regional transmission operators. Here is a map of the adjoining New York state grid on the left, which is managed by the New York ISO on the left. On the right is a colored map indicating voltage in the region, which needs to be monitored as a drop in voltage could cause breakdowns in energy flow.
In addition to monitoring the health of the grid, ISO New England holds auctions between power plant energy suppliers and utilities which deliver electricity to end customers. It also dispatches energy based on demand, maintains a steady frequency and voltage, and does short- and long-term forecasting. At the far right (above the screen with the person talking on a news show) is a screen that shows thunderstorm activity, something grid operators need to be aware of since it can cause equipment failures.
August 24, 2010 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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