Ten years ago, the August 2003 blackout left 50 million customers in eight Northeastern states and the province of Ontario without power. Since then, the electricity industry has made significant progress in improving reliability. The 2003 event was a turning point that led to mandatory and enforceable standards for the bulk power system, the creation of an international electric reliability organization (ERO) and renewed industry focus on reliability.
The Final Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout in the United States and Canada: Causes and Recommendations (April 2004) identified primary causes for the event and made a number of recommendations. The industry has made significant progress in vegetation management, protection system relay loadability, increased emphasis on situational awareness, enhanced operator training, new and improved situational awareness tool and technology and better information-sharing between systems.