The primary driver for TROLIE is exchange of the 240-hour-ahead forecast AAR data as required by FERC 881. While the ability to forecast data is new with the FERC order, the ability to have line ratings that change based on temperature is a technology that has been around for some time, if not used in such a ubiquitous way mandated by the order.

However, some Transmission Providers may interpret the first of that 240 hours as being the “current” hour (aka hour “0”). This is not naturally a forecast. Since this first hour is to be used in real-time operations, therefore representing the current time, it should be based on observed ambient conditions, rather than weather forecasts. Since this data is used for real-time operations and most commonly represents the latest observed vs forecast state, TROLIE refers to these as Real-Time ratings.

Traditional real-time AAR/DLR systems have used SCADA telemetry protocols for ratings exchange. Since real-time ratings are derived from observed weather measurements, fitting them into the “measurement”-oriented model used by these protocols is somewhat natural. Existing ratings exchanges between Transmission Providers and Ratings Providers typically use ICCP for this purpose. TROLIE must assume this method will continue to exist as part of the FERC 881 landscape.

TROLIE could take various stances on real-time ratings. Obvious options include:

  • Ignore them entirely, assuming that all real-time rating exchange is the domain of SCADA protocols such as ICCP.
  • Pack them into the forecast payload, so that the first hour (hour 0) implicitly represents real-time ratings.
  • Model them as a separate concept altogether.

Note that any use of real-time ratings in TROLIE scope must not be mutually exclusive to ICCP usage. In practice, ICCP will stay around, so TROLIE would serve as an optional alternative for some users to submit ratings, and/or an alternate way to get current in-use limits.

This decision documents strategy for representing real-time ratings in TROLIE.


TROLIE will include a real-time ratings operations and a real-time ratings clearing house that is distinct from the one for forecast ratings, but uses similar concepts.

Why Expose Real-Time Ratings to TROLIE?

Many of the structural advantages of the REST technology used by TROLIE over traditional OT data exchanges are documented in this article. While real-time ratings do map more naturally to SCADA protocols, there are still some advantages in terms of the flexibility of the data structure. For example, real-time limit snapshots include a “detailed” media type much like the forecast ratings do, which would be prohibitively difficult to model over ICCP. In addition, some transmission providers may decide that this data is best offloaded from their SCADA systems and ICCP gateways as those systems scale and are challenged by other changes in the power grid. Finally, this becomes accessible for rating provider systems that do not have easy access to ICCP gateways, which are expensive to install and may be difficult to justify only for ratings exchange.

Optional Support Scenarios

Not all TROLIE implementations will be required to support real-time ratings. They must be able to coexist alongside ICCP implementations, and some grid operators may elect to only use ICCP, only use TROLIE, or use both for different ratings providers. In addition, TROLIE implementations may elect to support read of real-time snapshots for transparency uses or downstream readers, but not the submission of real-time proposals.

Real-Time Ratings as a Distinct Data Exchange

Rather than implicitly pack real-time ratings into “hour 0” in the forecast, TROLIE separates real-time ratings into a distinct data exchange. There are several reasons for this:

  • The concepts (forecast and real-time) have misalignments that make them awkward to use together. For example, there isn’t necessarily a “time” associated with the real-time ratings; new proposal values are simply reflections of the latest measurements. By making the differences explicit, we can make the separate data exchanges more semantically direct, and therefore simpler.

  • The reasonable frequency for producing real-time ratings is very different than for forecast ratings. There is likely no reason to publish forecasts more than once an hour, as updated forecasts are unlikely to improve accuracy. In contrast, real-time ratings are based on real, observed temperature changes, which can certainly change within the hour. This increased frequency also allows TROLIE to support DLRs as well as AARs, as changes to real-time proposals could simply be conveyance of sensor data.

  • The usage of forecast and real-time ratings by the ratings provider is also quite different. Real-time ratings are forwarded on to state estimator, real-time markets and generation dispatch processes. These processes run frequently and react to new ratings at a much finer granularity than one hour. Forecast ratings, however, are used in slower processes, such as look-ahead unit commitment and dispatch, day-ahead markets, outage coordination, and transmission scheduling. These processes are less able, if they are able at all, to leverage data generated at a finer frequency than one hour.

Note that this does not prohibit a transmission provider and TROLIE server implementation from using the first hour of a forecast in place of a real-time rating if no such feed is available.


TROLIE real-time operations are defined under the Real-Time tag of the TROLIE specification. As mentioned above, TROLIE servers may optionally implement these operations.