A scalable and pervasive communication infrastructure represents a crucial issue in both structuring and operating modern power systems. In addressing this problem, this paper evaluates the potential role of cooperative wireless sensor networks. In order to establish their suitability for a typical set of monitoring and supervision functionalities required by Wide Area Monitoring Systems, the performance of IEEE 802.15.4 Standard based sensor networks are analysed in detail. The results obtained show that the application of this technology may be very promising in several power systems applications as far as distribution automation, remote monitoring, supervision, protection and control are concerned.
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