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Statement on power outages

PUCO Jenifer French on recent power outages.

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At the Commission's June 15, 2022 public meeting Jenifer French provided the following:

"Before we begin, I would like to take a moment to talk about the power outages this week. On Monday night, storms made their way through Ohio and caused damage to the electric grid and outages throughout the state.

After the storms came through, several transmission lines, which carry the large loads of power from generating sources to the smaller distribution lines and substations, were out of service.

Here in Ohio, we are a member of the PJM regional transmission organization. PJM is the grid operator for 13 states including Ohio. It is their job to make sure the electric grid remains reliable and directs power where it needs to flow in real time. To use an analogy, think of PJM as the air traffic controller of our electric grid.

This week, due to the storms leaving less transmission lines in service combined with the high temperatures, there was increased stress on the transmission lines that were still in service. Because of this, yesterday afternoon PJM had to order AEP Ohio to decrease the electricity demand on some parts of the stressed system in central Ohio.

Here at the PUCO, we have been closely monitoring the outages and communicating with PJM and the utilities. As a regulator the PUCO monitors system-wide reliability, and as with any major outage, we will be communicating with Ohio’s utilities to do an after-action review and determine what steps can be taken to avoid future occurrences.

These outages have caused not only inconveniences, but also serious problems for residents and businesses in the affected areas. We understand these problems and hope to see power restored to all as soon as possible.

I’d like to thank those working around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. You all are putting in long hours in this extreme heat, and we greatly appreciate the important work you are doing to help bring our communities back online.

We will continue to monitor this situation until all power has been restored. Thank you."