International Transmission Company Participates in Efforts to Ensure Electrical System Reliability

Dec 01, 2004

International Transmission Company Participates in Efforts to Ensure Electrical System Reliability

System restoration drill examines communications to avert repeat of '03 blackout

Novi, Mich. Dec. 1, 2004 - Today, International Transmission Company is participating in a drill involving major Midwestern electrical utility companies and reliability authorities to test communication protocols designed to improve response when instability or outages in the area's electricity grid occur. The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (Midwest ISO) will convene the exercise as part of its planning process for emergency response and system restoration. The communication path, or the procedures that determine the order and way in which the entities involved communicate, will be the focus of the drill. "This drill has specifically been planned to address communication procedures - a key failing during the 2003 blackout according to the U.S.-Canadian Task Force report," said Joseph Welch, International Transmission president and CEO. "Our involvement directly relates to International Transmission's goal of improving emergency response procedures. Today, this means testing and improving communications to better manage the existing transmission system under a number of contingencies." Transmission operators are on the front lines for dealing with any unexpected instability and are trained to take action to prevent widespread outages. Grid emergencies - such as those caused by storms, natural disasters, or system overload - require special action by operators to avoid cascading outages, system collapse and blackouts. Planning and maximum preparedness enable operators to respond to these events quickly and efficiently. Recommendations to improve cross-communications were emphasized within the U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force Final Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout. Today's drill demonstrates the commitment of the participating companies to ensure reliable electric service. Companies participating with Midwest ISO include International Transmission Company (Southeastern Michigan), Michigan Electric Transmission Company (Western Michigan), FirstEnergy (Ohio), DTE Energy (Southeastern Michigan), Consumers Energy (Western Michigan), and the Independent Electricity Market Operator (Ontario). Midwest ISO has divided its territory into sub regions to facilitate communications among neighboring utilities. Transmission system operators are the primary contacts in each sub region for operations and planning under emergency conditions. International Transmission is serving as the lead for the Michigan-northern Ohio-Ontario sub region for meetings this year. In addition to today's drill, ITC will participate in numerous other exercises internally and externally to improve its readiness in the event of an emergency. On January 19, ITC will participate in a bi-national critical infrastructure interdependencies tabletop exercise led by the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC).

Contact:
International Transmission Company
Lisa Roseland
248.374.7294
lroseland@itctransco.com