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The Smart Electrical Transmission System

Patrick Moore (Integral GIS, Inc.)
Location: Ballroom V

New technologies are emerging. The public wants more development of alternative energy resources. Federal policymakers are deliberating an aggressive expansion and strengthening of the electric system. These and other forces are changing the electric energy industry landscape.

To deal with this change and address the reliability and security needs of the electricity grid, the electric power industry must facilitate the communications and data sharing at each step in the power supply system, from the generator to the consumer. This electricity value chain encompasses generators and other energy providers, grid operators who manage the high-voltage transmission system, utilities that distribute electricity to homes and businesses and consumers.

The Smart Grid promises to meet these needs through broad collaboration within the grid community to build a network to deliver energy and information to consumers and their intelligent devices— to bring the idea of the Smart Grid home while strengthening the security and reliability of the nation’s electricity system.

Defining the Smart Grid today is akin to trying, in the 1970s, to describe the state of the Internet today. We’re still amazed at the Internet’s far-reaching impact and the new pathways for information it provides to the world. Few could have predicted the impact of e-mail, e-commerce, search engines, video streaming, music downloads, social networking, wireless communication and mobile navigation systems.

Like the early designers of that information network, many recognize the promise of a communications network that brings the idea of a Smart Grid to homes and businesses in ways that are now just being imagined. This would be accomplished through a network that would provide an open architecture and the “plug-and-play” technology with the flexibility to achieve the benefits of a full end-to-end integration of the power system. In essence, the Smart Grid would enable the delivery of the right information about energy, at the right time, to the right people.

While the consumer side of the Smart Grid is capturing the public imagination and has attracted the interest of venture capitalists and technology companies, the benefits to be gained from the Smart Grid also represent a compelling vision for the transmission portion of the nation’s electric infrastructure and value chain.

By creating an advanced network of real-time energy information, the digital automation of the entire power supply system will make the grid even more reliable and efficient. It will help grid operators to better anticipate where problems might develop and enable them to more precisely manage the flow of electrons over high-voltage transmission lines.


PJM Interconnection, based in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is currently employing geospatial technologies to help choreograph and visualize transmission components and the expansion of the grid, identifying areas of electrical congestion and computing the Location Marginal Pricing (LMP), as well as the planning and integration of renewable energy projects into the grid. The presentation will demonstrate the uses of PJM’s development of geospatial technologies to address the complex market ecology that constitutes the operation of the electrical grid, as well as demonstrate proactive applications for planning and real-time operations (including real-time3D).


PJM Interconnection ensures the reliability of the highvoltage electric power system serving 51 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region’s transmission grid, which includes 6,038 substations and 56,350 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion.

Patrick Moore

Integral GIS, Inc.

Patrick brings 20 years of software development experience and 15 years of developing spatial software applications to Integral GIS. He started his professional software career at Microsoft after obtaining degrees in Computer Science, Physics, and Mathematics from the University of Washington. He also holds an MSc in Civil Engineering, and was exposed to many more concepts through Tom Poiker’s UniGIS certificate program at Simon Fraser University. Some of what he learned was combined with the knowledge of co-authors Jeff Thurston and Tom Poiker in their book, Integrated Geospatial Technologies (John Wiley & Sons, 2003). He holds a certificate in Executive Leadership from Seattle University and will finish his Executive MBA at Seattle University in June 2009.

Patrick believes that both clients and communities can be better served by the incorporation of spatial technologies, and that if we can develop spatial applications for clients, they will benefit in ways that are not only measured with money, but also with large conceptual and philosophical gains. He works under the preconception that the information and decision making systems of an organization can benefit widely from the proactive application of spatial information.

Patrick is passionate about snowboarding, mountain climbing and chasing his twin boys.