Feds cite issues behind massive Southwest blackout

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Federal
energy regulators on Tuesday blamed inadequate planning and lack of grid
coordination for a blackout last year that affected millions of people
in Southern California, Arizona and Mexico's Baja California.

The staff of the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission and North American Electric Reliability
Corp. said in a statement that the Sept. 8 outage “stemmed from
operating in an unsecured state due to inadequate planning and a lack of
observability and awareness of system operating conditions on the day
of the event.”

Details were being released in a teleconference from Washington, D.C.

“This report highlights the
growing need for more coordination of grid operations in the West,”
FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said in a statement.

Gerry Cauley, president and
CEO of NERC, said the outage underscores the complexity and
interdependence of the North American electric system and the importance
of information sharing and system studies.

Utility officials
previously said an employee's work on a transmission line at an Arizona
substation was the first action in the chain of events, but it should
not have triggered such a massive blackout because the system is built
to quickly compensate for such glitches.

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