LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- When the lights went out all over
the Northeast and Midwest on the afternoon of August 14, power companies,
federal and state energy regulators, and news organizations all over the
country immediately began scrambling to find out what happened.
One person that many of them called was Sean O'Leary, CEO of
Genscape, Inc. in Louisville, KY.
Genscape has developed and operates the nation's only real-time tracking
system to measure power flows throughout the U.S. electric grid. The
company's data system was developed for use by the energy industry, and its
data is proving valuable to power companies and government agencies as they
seek the cause of the huge blackout. Genscape's data also is helping to
present a clear picture of progress in restoration of electric supply in the
"Our data-gathering network shows that in the first minute -- between
4:09 and 4:10 p.m. Eastern time -- power plants hundreds of miles apart in
three different states began tripping offline as the grid became unstable,"
says Mr. O'Leary. In the second minute the blackout spread much farther, "but
it was not a simple domino-like failure moving one area to an adjacent
geographic area. The failures hop-scotched all around the Northeast and
Midwest regions and into Canada," he says.
"Our unique set of data will help everyone involved find the answer to the
most important question -- why the systems that were installed to prevent
widespread blackouts didn't function as intended," Mr. O'Leary says. "We are
working to increase the availability of our data to maximize the understanding
of the source of the blackout event."
Industry and government officials called Genscape because it has the only
real-time nation-wide picture of the electric grid, Mr. O'Leary says.
"Individual utility companies have good information on what happens within
their own service area, but little, if any, data on neighboring utility
operations. Only by piecing together the highly detailed operational records
from each utility -- a process that will take days or weeks -- will the
industry and regulators be able to piece together a complete picture," he
"That is too long to wait to bring into focus what happened and to begin
to understand what to do about it. Our existing monitoring, aggregation,
analysis and communications capabilities provide a strong starting point for
problem identification and remediation right now...as well as one of the tools
to use in preventing and quickly reacting to similar situations in the
Genscape gathers power flow data on a real-time basis at 275 of the most
important power plants and transmission links on the U.S. power grid,
providing "eyes" for system operators and government agencies on the status of
the nation's electric system. "Our data gathering system will help the
industry to understand the nature of this event and could, in the future,
facilitate human intervention to prevent a future widespread power failure,"
Mr. O'Leary says.
As power restoration efforts continue around the clock throughout the
Northeast, Genscape is providing its clients, including the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission, as well as news agencies, with regular updates on the
status of the entire US electricity grid.
Genscape is a privately-held company that was founded in 1999 in
Louisville, Ky. by former energy traders Sean O'Leary and Sterling Lapinski to
serve the unmet need for reliable, comprehensive supply-side information in
the energy business.
For more information about Genscape, visit http://www.genscape.com .
SOURCE Genscape, Inc.