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We present a novel method for placing PMU in power systems based on power system intrinsic characteristics. In the method power system was first analyzed for find out the major or critical interchanges and major load areas, major control systems, critical equipments and power plants in the power system. The overall PMU facilities should provide comprehensive information of line flows, bus conditions, and control actions for power system dispatcher. Then based on coherent characteristics of rotor angles as well as bus voltages, placement of PMU is optimized. All potentially critical-modes, critical bus-clusters and generators are identified by transient stability evaluation and small signal stability analysis, and then PMU are assigned to those critical buses or power plants. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is verified with a real large-scale power system. PMU placement scheme is being implemented in Northwest China power grid. The proposed approach can also be used to different sized power systems. As the power systems become more populated by PMU, the proposed novel method is a useful and convenient tool for systematic installation of PMU around the network, which may assist system planners in deciding on the location of new PMU installments for better dynamic monitoring and control.