News Release: October 21, 2014
FERC Approves Third Settlement in 2011 Southwest Blackout Case
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today approved a stipulation and consent agreement between FERC’s Office of Enforcement and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and Southern California Edison Company (SCE) that includes a $650,000 civil penalty and several compliance requirements. The agreement resolves the investigation by FERC Enforcement staff and NERC into SCE’s involvement in the Sept. 8, 2011, Southwest blackout.
This marks the third settlement related to the FERC-NERC joint investigation into the outage that left more than 5 million people in Southern California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico, without power for up to 12 hours.
Enforcement staff and NERC determined that SCE violated the Protection and Control group of Reliability Standards, which covers a range of topics related to the protection and control of power systems including the design, coordination and maintenance of functional protection systems. In particular, the investigation found that SCE failed to adequately coordinate its intertie separation scheme at the San Onofre nuclear generating station switchyard with certain other protection systems. Enforcement staff and NERC found this violation to be a serious deficiency that undermined reliable operation of the Bulk Power System.
SCE stipulated to the facts in the agreement and will pay a civil penalty of $650,000, of which $250,000 will be paid to the U.S. Treasury and NERC in equal amounts, and $400,000 will be invested in reliability enhancement measures that go above and beyond the requirements of the Reliability Standards. Additionally, SCE has either completed, or will complete a number of additional mitigation measures that are designed to mitigate Reliability Standards violations, and improve the overall reliability of the bulk electric system.