International Transmission Co. Supports Recommendations of Blackout Report

Apr 06, 2004

International Transmission Co. Supports Recommendations of Blackout Report

Company commends the efforts of the Department of Energy, NERC and FERC

Novi, Mich., April 6, 2004 - In response to the Department of Energy's final blackout report, International Transmission Co. commends the Department of Energy, North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in their efforts to determine the cause and investigate means to prevent future blackouts.

"We agree with the recommendation of the report, specifically that the report calls for mandatory, enforceable reliability standards and an independent reliability authority," said International Transmission president and CEO Joseph Welch. "This report is an integral first step in improving that nation's electrical transmission grid."

The final report on the Aug. 14, 2003, blackout substantiates International Transmission's analysis of the causes of the blackout first issued on Aug. 16, 2003, and includes many of the key recommendations long supported by International Transmission that can prevent future blackouts.

Implementing the task force's recommendations will go a long way in addressing current reliability issues, but these improvements are part of a larger solution. In the last 20 years, energy demand has increased dramatically while investment in the nation's transmission system has remained relatively stagnant. This problem will only be exacerbated as projections identify that load is expected to grow by 25 percent in the coming decade, according to the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2002.

As the nation's first fully independent transmission company, International Transmission is uniquely positioned to take considerable measures to upgrade the transmission grid as a means to improve reliability. "We are singularly focused on transmission and therefore are deeply committed to improving the transmission infrastructure as a means to ensure better efficiency in the flow of energy, better system reliability and lower overall energy costs," said Welch.

International Transmission continues to employ best-in-class maintenance and operating practices such as tower and line inspections, aging equipment replacement and vegetation management. International Transmission has been using the foremost vegetation management practices that are eco-friendly, long-lasting and cost-effective. These comprehensive vegetation trimming practices were filed voluntarily on April 1, 2004, with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), before the publication of the report from the Department of Energy.

"We will continually strive to support the efforts of the various agencies to improve the nation's transmission grid while working to identify and implement solutions that would prevent future instances of cascading blackouts," Welch said.

International Transmission Company
Lisa Roseland

Franco Public Relations Group
Marc Harlow