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Modern control centers routinely include a set of network analysis functions that help the operator monitor and control the security of the power system. These functions, like state estimation, steady state contingency analysis and optimal power flow, operate on a power system model that is continually updated by the real-time measurements. The choice of this base power system model affects the analysis results as much or more than the choice of algorithms, but has received very little attention in the literature. The experience in setting up power system data bases for off-line studies can be utilized to develop the control center model but the severe constraints imposed by the on-line environment make this task more difficult. In this paper, the considerations for developing this on-line data base are explored and a procedure is suggested. The experience with this procedure in developing the model for the Salt River Project control center is described. Recommendations for improving the procedures and techniques are presented.