PJP Consulting
PJP Consulting

Blackout diagnosis

  1. Reviewed the generation black-start practices of the Australian Electricity Market: Reviewed proposed planning assumptions and market rules for establishing black-start generation by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The work included detailed review of the AEMO’s current practices and prosed changes, comparison with international practices, and recommendation regarding the assumptions used for determining system black-start generation requirements, the minimum qualifications for black-start generation, and means to determine sub-regional boundaries for setting black-start requirements.
  2. Performed an independent review of the Sarawak 27 June 2013 blackout: The Electrical Inspectorate Unit of the Sarawak Ministry of Public Utilities engaged DNV GL to carry out an independent investigation of this blackout. DNV GL reviewed public documents, blackout reports and data, practices and actions and conducted interviews and site visits. The final report presented our review and findings regarding the blackout and system restoration.
  3. Review the 23 April 2009 power outage that when the Bellingham–Sedro Woolley line tripped. During the afternoon/evening of 23 April 2009, a sustained blackout occurred that included the March Point substation and all service to the Shell facility. The blackout affected 93,000 electric customers; nearly all in Skagit County and on Whidbey Island. In total, 244 MW of firm customer load was lost. Details of the outage including the specific equipment operation and operator actions reviewed and compared with utility policies and NERC standards.
  4. Reviewed the US northeast blackout of 23 August 2003.  Reviewed the blackout events, various reports, and other private material to develop a comprehensive summary of events and potential remedies.  The results were presented in a series of seminars across Asia.
  5. Performed a detailed review of the 1997 Quebec blackout.  Mr. Palermo led a team that performed a detailed review of the blackout causes focusing on specific tower designs used.  Findings were reported to utilities in North America and Japan.  A massive ice storm struck Quebec during the winter.  Numerous EHV transmission towers collapsed leading to a Province-wide blackout.  The work quickly focused on certain failures in the insulator string assemblies that could be easily corrected.
  6. Reviewed and summarized the 1989 San Francisco blackout.  Reviewed public and private materials regarding the blackout and prepared a report summarizing the events leading up to the blackout and made recommendations to avoid similar events in the future.  A key substation was energized after maintenance when safety grounding had not been removed.  This resulted in a permanent three-phase fault.  This led to a blackout that affected most San Francisco. System planning operating criteria and policies should have prevented the resulting cascading outage. A report was prepared describing the event, the failures involved and recommended changes to prevent future outages
  7. Performed a detailed review of 1977 Jacksonville, Florida blackouts.  Mr. Palermo was the lead analyst performing a detailed review of a blackout of Jacksonville, Florida. Findings were reported to the affected utility, the other Florida utilities and state and Federal regulators.  A sudden blackout occurred during relatively mild weather. Analysis found that the system experienced a voltage collapse.  The cause was an unusual generation dispatch in neighboring utilities and the loss of a generator in Jacksonville. Changes were made to inter-utility generation coordination and increased local reserve requirements during certain conditions.


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