Blackout Risk to U.S. Electrical Grid From Potential Attack

Monday, March 17, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Oil Price
FinancialSense.com
03/17/2014

The Wall Street Journal reported on a government study that found that the U.S. electrical grid is vulnerable to huge blackouts from even minor attacks by saboteurs. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission conducted a review of the electrical grid after last year’s attack on a California electrical substation. It found that even a small-scale attack could knock power offline for wide swathes of the country for weeks or even months.

FERC studied the situation and described in a memo the potential danger. “Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer,” said the memo, which was reviewed by the WSJ. “This would be an event of unprecedented proportions,” said Ross Baldick, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. FERC has ordered the industry to propose new safety standards at substations by June.

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