“The industry only changes following a big crisis and we’re about due for another one.” That was a remark made at a recent meeting of utility industry experts. I believe it.
It took the 12 hour Northeast blackout of 1965, which knocked out power to 30 million customers, to get us seriously working on coordinated, interstate transmission standards. The result was the formation of the North American Reliability Council (NERC) in 1968. We can also thank the disaster for pushing the development of transmission SCADA and programmable relays. There have been other less spectacular area-wide transmission outages since then (particularly in the Northeast for some reason). These have also resulted in major (overdue) operating changes.