NERC supports U.S.-Canada task force investigating causes of 2003 blackout

Aug. 20, 2003 — Michehl R. Gent, NERC President and CEO, confirmed that the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) will support the U.S.-Canada Task Force investigation into the cause of the recent blackouts that affected North America.

“NERC is pleased to be an integral part of this important investigation,” said Gent. “This is truly an international effort, and NERC’s broad technical expertise and membership are critical to understanding what happened on August 14,” he added. “NERC has pledged to cooperate fully with any and all official investigations and we are keeping that pledge,” Gent emphasized.

NERC has assembled a team of experts who are working hard to identify and collect the data needed to understand what happened and why. While it is premature to draw any conclusions about what the investigation might uncover, NERC is committed to a full, fair, and open investigation of the blackouts, and to working closely with the U.S.-Canada Task Force.

“NERC’s investigation will supplement and contribute to the U.S.-Canada Task Force investigation,” stated Gent. “We understand the critical importance of a reliable electric system to the citizens, the economy, and the security of the United States and Canada, and we will do everything possible to provide clear answers and lessons learned that will help to ensure that reliability is maintained in the future.”

NERC’s mission is to ensure that the bulk electric system in North America is reliable, adequate, and secure. Since its formation in 1968, NERC has operated successfully as a voluntary organization, relying on reciprocity, peer pressure, and the mutual self-interest of all those involved. Through this voluntary approach, NERC has helped to make the North American bulk electric system the most reliable system in the world. NERC membership comprises ten Regional Reliability Councils that account for virtually all the electricity supplied in the United States, Canada, and a portion of Baja California Norte, Mexico.