This course provides a summary review of the U.S. eastern area blackout that occurred on August 14, 2003. The learning objectives for this course are (a) to understand the root causes of this cascading occurrence; (b) to review the restoration techniques used during the event; and (c) to build emergency preparedness skill sets.
We have selected the East Coast Blackout of 2003 because of the depth of analysis that was performed following that event and the large body of lessons learned from that analysis. There is a wealth of additional information for many other power outages, including the following: the Northeast Blackout of 1965, which impacted the northeastern U.S. and Ontario, Canada; the September 12, 2005, blackout in Los Angeles, which affected millions of residents in California; and the February 2, 2011, outages at two major coal-fired power plants in Texas that resulted from a cold snap and forced rotating blackouts in the area. Indeed, each year there are dozens of major power outages throughout the world; many are caused by weather or seismic events, but others are the result of avoidable circumstances.
All grid disturbances are reviewed so that we can learn from each event and enhance our emergency preparedness. It is important to learn from the past, but it is also important to recognize the great value and daily contributions of our grid operations personnel.
At the end of this training module there will be a completion exercise to measure the effectiveness of this module and to give you an opportunity to evaluate this module.
NERC CEH: 2, OPS Topics 2, NERC Standards 0, Simulation 1, EO Credit - No, PE Hours 2
Terminal Objective: The trainee shall describe the key events and lessons learned from the 2003 East Coast blackout.
- Enabling Objective: The trainee shall describe lessons learned as described in the final NERC report.
- Enabling Objective: The trainee shall explain the impact of vegetation control on reliability.
- Enabling Objective: The trainee shall explain what went wrong in way of monitoring system and SCADA visibility.
- Enabling Objective: The trainee shall summarize failures of recognizing deteriorating conditions and taking action (with or without alarms).
Terminal Objective: The trainee shall explain or demonstrate, through situational response, exercise key actions necessary in an emergency occurrence such as this one in 2003.
- Enabling Objective: The trainee shall explain how observation of line loadings and associated actions can mitigate overloads with or without associated alarms.
- Enabling Objective: The trainee shall explain how closer attention to voltage conditions and deployment of reactive reserve to maintain voltage could have helped mitigate the effects of the 2003 occurrence.
- Enabling Objective: The trainee shall explain how minimum line clearance, sag, and the action necessary to address such conditions with or without an associated line trip played a role in the 2003 occurrence.
- Enabling Objective: The trainee shall explain how monitoring and recognition of present or contingency conditions that threaten reliability can mitigate an otherwise serious reliability issue.
Terminal Objective: The trainee shall demonstrate, through the tabletop exercise response, the ability to make the best operating decisions regarding system scenarios presented in the completion exercise.
- Enabling Objective: (1) Observation of line loadings and ability to take action to mitigate overloads with or without associated alarms.
- Enabling Objective: (2) Attention to voltage conditions and deployment of reactive reserve to maintain voltage and control.
- Enabling Objective: (3) Attention to minimum line clearance, sag, and the action necessary to address such conditions with or without an associated line trip.
- Enabling Objective: (4) Monitoring and recognition of present or contingency conditions that threaten reliability.
Lesson 1: Timeline of Events
- Overview of Events
- Pre-Disturbance Conditions
- Cascading Events and Timetable
Lesson 2: Root Causes of Blackout
- Root Causes
Lesson 3: Tabletop Completion Exercises
- Responding to Emergency Situations with Lessons Learned from the East Coast Blackout of 2003
9200 Blackout 2003 A Lesson in Emergency Preparedness - North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)
- North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)
- (609) 452-8060
- (609) 452-9550
- Website URL:
- Email Address:
- 116-390 Village Boulevard
9200 Blackout 2003 A Lesson in Emergency Preparedness - No Regulator/ 360training.com
- No Regulator/ 360training.com
- Website URL:
- Email Address:
- 1381, Burnet Road, Suite 100, Austin, Texas, 78727.
9200 Blackout 2003 A Lesson in Emergency Preparedness - Registered Continuing Education Program RCEP
Subject Matter Expert
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