SPP power grid to pay $50,000 to U.S. for reliability violations

July 10 Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:01am EDT

July 10 (Reuters) - U.S. power grid operator Southwest Power Pool (SPP) on Wednesday agreed to pay a $50,000 civil penalty to federal energy regulators for possible violations of electric reliability standards.

In an order, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said SPP agreed to pay the fine and committed to make semi-annual reliability compliance reports to the FERC Office of Enforcement for up to two years.

SPP operates the power market with about 63,000 megawatts (MW) of installed generating capacity in all or parts of eight Midwest and Southwest states - Nebraska, Missouri, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, FERC said in the complaint.

On December 26, 2007, SPP temporarily lost all primary communications with and visibility of system conditions at its primary control center in Arkansas.

FERC's Office of Enforcement and the North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC), which sets and enforces reliability standards, investigated the event and determined SPP violated some reliability requirements.

Of the $50,000 fine, FERC said SPP will pay $25,000 to the U.S. Treasury and $25,000 to NERC.

The biggest utilities in SPP include units of American Electric Power, Xcel Energy, Great Plains Energy and OGE Energy.

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