Agency: Solar Flares Can’t Trounce Grids

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission plans to direct electrical grid regulators to address the impact of solar flares on electrical grid operation, according to a proposed rule.
     The current 11-year solar activity cycle is expected to hit its maximum activity in 2013 and large solar events often occur within four years of such a cycle maximum, said panelists at a technical conference referenced in the proposal.
     The standards created are to result in grid operator plans that contain strategies for protecting against the potential impact of geomagnetic disturbances based on factors such as the age, condition, technical specifications, or location of specific equipment, according to the proposal.
     These strategies could include automatically blocking geomagnetically induced currents from entering the Bulk-Power System, instituting specification requirements for new equipment, inventory management, and isolating certain equipment that is not cost effective to retrofit.
     To learn more, click the document icon for this regulation and others.

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