Power blackout probe set by FERC and NERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) opened a joint inquiry into the September 8 power outage that left more than 1 million customers in Southern California, parts of Arizona and Northern Baja Mexico without electricity. As of 2:15 a.m. PDT on September 9, all but 200 MW of the initial 4,300 MW lost had been restored.

FERC and NERC will coordinate with the Department of Energy and other federal agencies, the California Independent System Operator, the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, California and Arizona state regulators and the companies involved to monitor the situation. The inquiry will focus on causes of the outages.

The initial focus remains on ensuring a timely and safe restoration of power to customers. FERC is charged with oversight of reliability of the nation’s bulk power system. FERC has designated NERC as the organization that develops and enforces mandatory reliability standards.

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