Today’s LiveWire Spotlight evaluates two reliability incidents where catastrophic failures destroyed equipment and required callouts to emergency responders.  In the first, a cell in a Battery Energy Storage System went into thermal runaway, touching off a fiery cascade across the entire device.  In the second, the dielectric strength of insulating oil in a current transformer was found to be below the IEEE recommended value after it exploded in a BES substation.

Wide-area electric system outages that result from equipment failures are among NERC’s top reliability concerns.  Severe penalties may be levied if a one causes BES instability or Cascading, and it is found that an Operator did not act upon these Lessons Learned.