In this study, the innovation approach is used to estimate the measurement total error associated with power system state estimation. This is required because the power system equations are very much correlated with each other and as a consequence part of the measurements errors is masked. For that purpose an index, innovation index (II), which provides the quantity of new information a measurement contains is proposed. A critical measurement is the limit case of a measurement with low II, it has a zero II index and its error is totally masked. In other words, that measurement does not bring any innovation for the gross error test. Using the II of a measurement, the masked gross error by the state estimation is recovered; then the total gross error of that measurement is composed. Instead of the classical normalised measurement residual amplitude, the corresponding normalised composed measurement residual amplitude is used in the gross error detection and identification test, but with m degrees of freedom. The gross error processing turns out to be very simple to implement, requiring only few adaptations to the existing state estimation software. The IEEE-14 bus system is used to validate the proposed gross error detection and identification test.