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WECC Daily Report (Oops I did it again-Cal ISO blacks out BC Pulp Mill)
WECC Daily Report of System Status ^ | February 24, 2003 | WESTERN ELECTRICITY COORDINATING COUNCIL

Posted on 02/24/2003 12:08:59 PM PST by Robert357

Sunday’s Notable Events: At 1755 PST System frequency deviated from 60.017 Hz to 59.793 Hz and recovered to 59.885 Hz by governor action. Cause of the disturbance was due to a plane striking the static wire of the Adelanto-Rinaldi #1 500-kV line which caused the relaying of the Victorville-Adelanto #1 and #2 500-kV lines (1807 restored), Marketplace-Adelanto #1 500-kV line (1831 restored), Intermountain-Adelanto 1000-kV poles 1 and 2 (1933 restored) and the Intermountain Unit #1 while generating 875 MW (2013 unit paralleled). At approximately the same time the Mohave Unit 1 tripped due to SSR while generating 604 MW. PNSC reported 30 MW of Pulp Mill load tripped in BCHA due to UF relaying. No load was reported to have been lost in the CMRC sub-region. RDRC reported PSC unit #1 at Manchief tripped off due UF relaying while generating 154 MW.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Canada; Government; US: California; US: Oregon; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: blackouts; californiaiso; calpowercrisis
Well, an airplane struck the top (static or lightning protection wire) on a 500-kV transmission line just north of Los Angeles (Adelanto-Rinaldi #1 line). The static wire probably was broken and fell down into a phase of the 500 kV line and that caused an incredible short that in turn caused relays on major transmission lines and at various power plants all over the west coast to operate. This caused a change in frequency across the entire West Coast. The end result was that a pulp mill (30 MW load) in British Columbia was blacked out by under-frequency relays.

The problem in the LA area should have been contained within the Cal ISO and not allowed to propagate all up and down the West Coast eventually dumpling a major mill in British Columbia Canada.

Gosh, I wonder when the Cal-ISO is going to blackout a major part of the West Coast? Imagine what could happen when loads are at their peak in California during the summer? They really need to get their act together and I hope that FERC jumps in soon and changes the management structure of the Cal ISO so that the ISO cleans up its act. This is getting just plain scary.

1 posted on 02/24/2003 12:09:00 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357; snopercod; Dog Gone; Ernest_at_the_Beach
We were talking last week about how the California ISO could cause a major blackout on the West Coast. Well on Sunday a problem in the LA area caused a Pulp Mill in British Columbia Canada to be dropped off line via under-frequency relays.

I wish that California's electrical system would stop opperating in its 3rd-world manner and step up to appropriate reliability criteria. I am sure there are some plant managers at a BC Pulp mill that feel the same way.

2 posted on 02/24/2003 12:12:32 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357
Well, something is wrong when this incident in Los Angeles creates an effect felt only in British Columbia. Or, maybe California has figured out a way to export its blackouts, now.
3 posted on 02/24/2003 12:35:28 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Robert357
I wonder if the pulp mill is going to send a bill to Davis and his cronies...
4 posted on 02/24/2003 1:02:24 PM PST by snopercod
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To: snopercod
If I were the mill manager, I would contact my federal and provincial elected officials and tell them exactly what the cost was and have them contact the US Dept of Energy and the US FERC requesting the steps that the California-ISO will take to prevent reliability problems like this from endanging the Canadian economy.
5 posted on 02/24/2003 2:27:31 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Dog Gone
Actually the incident in the LA area was felt all along the West Coast. But you are right, in that it really documents taht something is seriously wrong with power reliability. Utility dispatchers in California, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia were all probably swearing at the top of their lungs on Sunday while this was happening.

The one incident caused a large number of other things to happen. Some transmission lines triped off, some powerplants tripped off. Ultimately, and amazingly only one major load was lost and it was in distant British Columbia Canada.

What that tells me is that the PNW should have separated (islanded) from California earlier in the disturbance before the PNW frequency was dragged down by our neighbor to the south. Of course had that happened, a large part of California might have gone dark. The Cal-ISO needs to stop leaning on its neighbors for reliability support.

6 posted on 02/24/2003 2:46:07 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Dog Gone; Robert357
I would really like to know which way power was flowing on the grid at the time.

It sounds like the folks in BC ended up carrying a lot of unexpected load, dragging down their generators momentarily.

All that stuff is like magic to me.

7 posted on 02/24/2003 2:49:24 PM PST by snopercod
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To: Robert357
Curious that there are no news stories that I can find on the wires regarding the aircraft hitting a power line...
8 posted on 02/24/2003 2:52:50 PM PST by snopercod
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To: snopercod
Could be that the Cal ISO just made that up as the excuse for some other problem.

Actually, based on investigations I have made on things like this, what sometimes happens is you send a crew out to see what the problem is. They find a wire laying on the ground. Then they try to figure out why the wire broke. Sometimes it looks like a nick that might have been caused by a gun shot and it is a rural area, so you tell everybody that somebody shot the conductor. Other times, if it is near an airport you tell folks that it was a plane that probably clipped the wire and caused it to fail. Sometimes, if there is a recently cut tree stump nearby you say that a tree was cut and fell into the line (especially if there is some charred wood!).

For something this major, I would not expect Cal ISO to speculate, I would expect them to figure out the real reason. I also would suspect that if it were a plane that clipped the line, there would have been aircraft parts laying around or one really scared pilot somewhere.

9 posted on 02/24/2003 3:20:52 PM PST by Robert357
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To: snopercod
Depending on how Canada is feeling, there could be a major NERC investigation on this. So you may get to read all about which direction the power was flowing and what happened at each step.

Usually, what happens is that you get a short, and so a powerplant sees an infinite load and trips the plant off. Then you see a major shortage of power or underfrequency and load is tripped off or generation is trottled way down or generation is tripped off to protect the generation. This bounces a round for a while and hopefully everything is dynamically stable and a static equalibrium is reached again.

From the WECC description you had the Intermountain power plant project dramatically changing load levels and powerplants all up and down the coast trying to figure out the right setting.

10 posted on 02/24/2003 3:39:41 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357
You could perhaps change that to:

I wish that California's electrical political system would stop operating in its 3rd-world manner and step up to appropriate reliability democratic-republic criteria.

11 posted on 02/24/2003 6:42:12 PM PST by Eala (okay, the formula doesn't fit well, but you get the idea... fix the politics, the rest will follow)
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To: Eala
Even I, who believes in fairy tales and the Easter bunny, am not that optimistic to believe that California could clean up its political act. (/sarcasm)
12 posted on 02/24/2003 11:24:13 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357

Cessna 310 clips two power lines

By Los Angeles Daily News

A low-flying twin-engine plane clipped a high-power transmission system south of Palmdale, causing a power outage for more than 190 homes, but the plane made it safely to Fox Airfield.

The collision occurred Sunday night in Soledad Pass near where the Antelope Valley Freeway passes through the San Gabriel Mountains.

It damaged the Cessna 310's left wingtip fuel tank and severed a power line cable, which then knocked out two power lines, officials said.

The pilot was not injured, Federal Aviation Administration officials said. The plane, registered to a Delaware company, made it 15 miles to Fox Airfield and landed safely, officials said.

The cable the plane hit was not charged with electricity. It is called a "static line" and protects a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power high-power transmission line from lightning strikes, officials said. But the severed cable hit a transmission line beneath it and also knocked out a nearby Southern California Edison distribution line.

DWP officials said their customers in Los Angeles were not affected by the accident.

A citizen found a piece of shredded metal on the ground near the power lines and called authorities, FAA officials said. The agency was investigating.

13 posted on 02/25/2003 3:54:26 AM PST by snopercod
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To: Dog Gone
I'd laugh, but it does give them a way to spread the blame of their own incompetence.

Well, until the people of Kali in particular, and voters in general, take seriously, the casting of ballots, the idiots
may find themselves shut out of what should be mutually beneficial arrangements.

But I'm sure the their representatives will hold their breaths and try to get big brother to force everybody else to be just
as incompetent.

(Didn't the Northeast power grid guys share any of the hard learned lessons on how not to design power grids back in the 1960s?)

14 posted on 02/25/2003 4:27:19 AM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: snopercod
Nice find! Actually, the reporters had no idea of what really happened did they. Kind of a Paul Harvey kind of story in that respect.
15 posted on 02/25/2003 8:14:48 AM PST by Robert357
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To: Calvin Locke
(Didn't the Northeast power grid guys share any of the hard learned lessons on how not to design power grids back in the 1960s?)

Yup, under threat of federal legislation the utility industry formed a voluntary reliability Council (NERC) that split North America into reliability regions. Each region then adopted reliability criteria similar to what the WSCC (now the WECC) had. The east coast folks learned from the west coast folks.

Unfortunately, back in the 60's and 70's we had very strict reliability criteria and folks followed them as they could easily pass on the costs to their customers. In the 90's and power crisis years around 2001, some utilities just started looking the other way about reliability. Each year it is getting worse and worse. As a former electric utility system planner who remembers the rules from way back when, I sometimes just have to shake my head at how "un-reliable" our power system is today compared to what was the standard back in the 70's.

Having said that, I would like to let you know that the Cal-ISO is way out to one end of the bell shaped curve of utility organizations looking the other way when it comes to reliability criteria. Eventually, it will catch up with them.

16 posted on 02/25/2003 8:23:15 AM PST by Robert357
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