July 10 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
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.