FERC agrees rule on grid protection

The Wall Street Journal

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday adopted a new rule -– to be enforced in 2016 -- ordering utilities to identify key points that, if disrupted, would cause blackouts, and take steps to protect them, The Wall Street Journal reports.

NSA director: China can damage US power grid

WASHINGTON (AP) — China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command.

The possibility of such cyberattacks by U.S. adversaries has been widely known, but never confirmed publicly by the nation's top cyber official.

Energy sector remains hacking target, studies find


A variety of surveys and studies have determined that the energy sector, in many cases running on technology developed in the 1970s, remains vulnerable to computer hacking, CNN reports.

Future will see more urban blackouts: Researchers


A paper from researchers in England and New Zealand, published in the Journal of Urban Technology, predicts more frequent blackouts as intensifying power demand strains vulnerable grids, E&E reports.

Some Maine towns in dark as election approaches

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Thousands of Maine voters — and possibly some polling places — are expected to be in the dark after a powerful storm knocked out electricity for more than 100,000 homes and businesses.

A storm Sunday lashed the state with 50 mph gusts of wind and dumped more than a foot of snow in places.

A Central Maine Power spokesman says there are no assurances that all polling places will have electricity on Election Day.

Bangladesh power back on after nationwide blackout

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Power was back on across Bangladesh on Sunday, a day after the impoverished, energy-starved nation was plunged into a nationwide blackout when the transmission line from neighboring India failed, officials said.

The country's energy grid was fully restored, and any further problems that may arise would be for "local reasons," Junior Power Minister Nasrul Hamid told reporters.

Britain warns of tighter winter power supply


A loss of generators means that Britain has only 4 percent spare electricity capacity to help it weather the winter months, compared to 5 percent last year and 17 percent three years ago, according to the seasonal outlook published by the country’s National Grid, BBC News reports.

Solar flare knocks out some radio, grid OK

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal forecasters say a brief but strong solar flare Wednesday morning temporarily blacked out a few radio communication systems before weakening.

Space Weather Prediction Center forecaster Christopher Balch said it affected radio that uses part of the upper atmosphere. That includes some radar and plane systems, but not all, and amateur radio.

Built-in or portable? Choosing the right generator

As storms have become more severe in many parts of the country and power outages more frequent, home generators have gone from luxury items to mainstream ones.

Prices have come down, thanks to growing demand and cheaper technology. But the idea of buying and installing one can still be daunting, mainly because there are so many variables to consider. Much depends on how much you want the generator to do.

Magnitude 7.4 offshore quake hits Central America

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — A magnitude 7.4 underwater earthquake off the Pacific coast of El Salvador shook several Central American countries late Monday.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries and no tsunami warnings. But power outages were reported in El Salvador, and Nicaragua put out an internal alert, announcing that schools would be closed on Tuesday.


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