DOE Final POST Report on Outages

Report of DOE’s Power Outage Study Team (POST) was released this morning.

“Findings and Recommendations to Enhance Reliability
from the Summer of 1999”

(This morning’s Wall Street Journal also broke the story.)

REF: UFTO Note – DOE Power Outage Study
Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2000

The interim report was released in January, and a series of workshops were held around the country in the last week of January. Perhaps your company was represented.

This final report makes summarizes workshop findings, and makes recommendations.

It is available (pdf acrobat) at:
or the POST webpage at:

(It should be there by the end of today.)

Printed copies of the can be obtained from the department’s Office of Public Inquiries by calling 202/586-5575.

—- DOE press release —————

March 13, 2000

Energy Department Issues Recommendations to Help Prevent Power Outages

Richardson Receives Power Outage Study Team Final Report

Energy Secretary Bill Richardson today received the department’s Power Outage Study Team final report on electricity outages and system disturbances during the summer of 1999. The report contains the team’s findings and recommendations of appropriate federal actions to help enhance electric reliability, and avoid the types of problems that occurred last summer.

“While demand for electricity is soaring along with the use of computers, fax machines and other appliances in our homes, offices and factories, the reliability of our electric grid is, at times, faltering, mainly because policy makers haven’t kept pace with rapid changes in the electric utility industry,” Secretary Richardson said. “But today’s report can be a blueprint for how we will work to keep the lights on and air conditioners running in America’s cities this summer.”

The report states that competition in the electricity industry can save customers money and help with improved reliability. The institutions and practices that provided reliable electric service in the past will need to change along with ongoing economic reforms.

The report makes the following 12 recommendations, each of which includes specific action items for federal consideration:

– Promoting market-based approaches to ensure reliable electric
– Enabling customer participation in competitive electricity markets;
– Removing barriers to distributed energy resources;
– Supporting mandatory reliability standards for bulk-power systems;
– Supporting reporting and sharing of information on “best practices;”
– Enhancing emergency preparedness activities for low-probability,
high-consequence events on bulk-power systems;
– Demonstrating federal leadership through promotion of best
reliability practices at federal utilities;
– Conducting public-interest reliability-related research and
development consistent with the needs of a restructuring
electric industry;
– Facilitating and empowering regional solutions to the siting of
generation and transmission facilities;
– Promoting public awareness of electric reliability issues;
– Monitoring and assessing vulnerabilities to electric power
system reliability;
– Encouraging energy efficiency as a means for enhancing reliability.

“Federal electricity legislation is an essential component of the effort to help alleviate power outages this summer,” Secretary Richardson said. “Congress must move ahead to make changes in the federal statutory framework to provide the certainty that is needed to achieve reliable electric service in competitive wholesale and retail markets.”

Secretary Richardson formed the team, made up of power system experts from the Energy Department and its national research laboratories, as well as universities, following a series of power outages that crippled parts of New York City, Chicago and other communities across the nation during the past summer.

The final report follows an interim report issued in January that described events and findings on six power outages and two additional power disturbances. The team held three technical workshops across the country to invite comment and input on the appropriate federal role to help avoid future power outages. Over 150 individuals attended one or more of the workshops and over 70 entities submitted written comments.

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