SAN DIEGO (AP) — Federal regulators said Monday that they've approved a $3.25 million settlement with an Arizona utility over a 2011 blackout that left millions of people without power in California, Arizona and Mexico.
The settlement between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Arizona Public Service Co. is expected to be the first of several stemming from the blackout that involved a half-dozen utilities and grid operators.
The settlement requires APS to pay $2 million to the federal government and $1.25 million for improvements to the electrical grid.
A failed maintenance procedure at an Arizona Public Service transmission switch yard near Yuma, Ariz., led to the blackout on the afternoon of Sept. 8, 2011, knocking out power to 2.7 million homes and businesses in Arizona, Southern California and Tijuana, Mexico, on a hot summer day. The entire San Diego area lost power — some customers for up to 12 hours — forcing schools and businesses to close and creating horrendous traffic jams as drivers navigated without traffic signals or street lights.
The FERC said the grid quickly became overloaded when power was rerouted from Yuma, a loss that it should have been able to sustain.
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