IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - 93

analysis of the events of that day, but
it went on to discuss many underlying
problems within the electric power industry and offered practical solutions.
the report also served as a fine tutorial on the scientific and mathematical
principles upon which ac electric systems rely.
there isn't enough space here to
document the report's findings and
recommendations, but the bottom line
was simple: the complexity of the physical grid had outgrown the institutions
used to plan and operate it. the eastern
interconnection had become a huge electric power system comprising thousands
of miles of high-voltage lines, encompassing most of the United States and
eastern Canada. it had expanded rapidly
in the early 20th century, too rapidly
for its institutions to keep pace. Critical decisions were still being made by
hundreds of investor- and governmentowned utilities, which ranged in size
from a few megawatts to many thousands. With a few exceptions, there

NERC Regions

NPCC
MRO
WECC

RF
SPP RE

SERC

TRE
FRCC

figure 6. The regional entities, also known as the regional reliability councils.
(Courtesy of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.)

was little coordination among these
systems, and individual utilities often
took actions based on what seemed best
for their stockholders or customers,
without considering how their neighbors

might be affected. An obvious example of such lack of cooperation was Con
ed's failure to notify its neighbors about
its plans to build the 1,000-mW ravenswood 3 generator.

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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - Cover3
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