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FERC and NERC to look into the lessons that can be learned from January power outages

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) have announced that they will conduct a joint inquiry to assess the impacts of the extreme cold weather event that occurred in the Midwest and a portion of South Central US during the week of January 15, 2018.

On January 17th, 2018, regional operators in the Midwest and South Central US issued public appeals for consumers to voluntarily reduce their electricity use due to abnormally cold temperatures and higher than forecast electricity demand. There were reports of multiple forced generation outages, voltage deviations and near-overloads during peak operations.

The inquiry will focus on identifying the causes of, and any contributing factors to, the event, and will identify any appropriate recommendations for improving operations under similar conditions.

“Inquiries of this type are among the many steps that we take to protect and safeguard the reliability of the bulk power system,” FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre said.

“This inquiry is timely as it will allow us to identify and share any potential lessons learned as we approach the coming winter season,” said NERC President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Robb.

FERC and NERC staff will work with the Midwest Reliability Organization, ReliabilityFirst, SERC Reliability Corporation, and the relevant involved companies.

This inquiry is not an enforcement investigation.

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