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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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Statement: April 20, 2006 Print this page

Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher's statement on Texas electricity blackouts

“I would like to start off today's Open Meeting of the Commission with some comments on the recent blackout in Texas. This was a serious incident that affected approximately 200,000 customers. At the time of the blackout, significant generation (twenty percent of the total generation, or 14,000 megawatts) was not available due to planned maintenance. The weather was also five degrees warmer than projected. Additionally, unplanned outages at four units resulted in the loss of another 1,200 megawatts. At the time, all available generation resources were committed and no additional resources were available.

Historically, many blackouts have been caused in part by violations of reliability standards. There has been no determination at this time as to whether violations of reliability standards occurred. ERCOT is conducting an investigation into this event. Commission staff is also conducting an analysis of this event. We will work closely with ERCOT to understand what caused this event. Although reliability standards are not yet mandatory, the Commission expects voluntary compliance with them in this interim period. ”

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