Summary form only given. TVA is investigating a new generation of low-cost, multi-purpose, wireless sensor systems that will help operators assess in real time the condition and performance of power system assets. Such sensor systems have the potential to provide a step-change improvement in the way power systems can be operated and maintained making available an entirely new set of equipment operating information to multiple stakeholders. Through a multi-year initiative, TVA is investigating a number of sensor applications and corresponding decision tools that will help identify accelerated component aging, the need for maintenance and the precursors to imminent failure. The primary research objective is to understand sensor operation in the substation and overhead environment, communication and data collection issues, data security issues, power harvesting for sensor operations, and analytics for data visualization and operator interaction.