(FERC announces another civil penalty in 2011 power outage)….The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced the settlement agreement Thursday.
The $12 million civil penalty was assessed against the Imperial Irrigation District for failure contributing to the regional power outage on September 8, 2011. According to the settlement, the IID will pay $3 to the US Treasury and invest $9 million in reliability enhancements to the local electrical grid that go beyond meeting basic standards. FERC said they found failures in the day-ahead and real-time contingency plans of the IID. The District also agreed to submit to further compliance monitoring. Last month FERC assessed a $3.25 million penalty against Arizona Public Service. On September 8, 2011 a botched maintenance procedure at a transmission switchyard near Yuma touched off a blackout that cascaded to include the entire southwest region and parts of northern Baja California. In 2012 a federal inquiry found a lack of effective contingency planning and coordination. They described the outage as largely a consequence of human failures. Violation notices have also been issued to CAISO and Southern California Edison.