Today’s LiveWire Spotlight reviews two “teachable moments” where complex devices and systems built to enhance electric system performance threatened it instead.  In the first Lesson Learned, dozens of SF6 circuit breakers opened or failed to trip in the midst of the Polar Vortex that hit Minnesota in early 2019.   In the second, a corrupted database on a backup Inter-Control Center Communications Protocol (ICCP) server cluster caused a TOP to lose its state estimator functionality.

Grid complexities continue to be a major factor in outages that lead to BES service loss and are among NERC’s top reliability concerns.  Severe penalties may be levied if an outage occurs, and it is found that an Operator did not act upon these Lessons Learned.