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IEEE PES Vancouver Chapter Distinguished Lecture on ‘Lessons Learned from a Regional System Blackout and Restoration in BC Hydro’

February 7, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

IEEE Power & Energy Society Vancouver Chapter is pleased to announce a distinguished lecture on “Lessons Learned from a Regional System Blackout and Restoration in BC Hydro” by Dr. Mukesh Nagpal, Principal Engineer and Manager of P&C Department, BC Hydro. The chapter kindly invites all PES members and guests to attend this presentation. Please also feel free to extend this invitation to those who you think would be interested in this presentation.

This IEEE technical presentation hours may be considered towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits.

PES Chapter Distinguished Lecture Topic: Lessons Learned from a Regional System Blackout and Restoration in BC Hydro

Speakers: Dr. Mukesh Nagpal, Principal Engineer & Manager of P&C Department, BC Hydro

Date:  Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Time: 12:00PM to 1:00 PM (lunch hour)

Venue: Skytrain Room, Auditorium – BC Hydro Edmonds Office, 6911 Southpoint Drive, Burnaby, BC

Webite: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/47552

No advanced registration required.


Synopsis of the talk:

On September 6, 2016, the Peace Region in the Northeast BC Hydro system experienced a blackout after an intense thunderstorm subjected multiple 500 kV lines, sharing the same transmission corridor, to lightning strikes in the time span of about three minutes. These lines connect two large generating stations, regional loads and five non-utility generators to the rest of the BC Hydro system. The protection scheme on the first line tripped three-phase and initiated autoreclose as designed. However immediately after three-phase opening, high magnitudes of low-frequency (about 9 Hz) currents appeared in the line shunt reactor, causing a protection trip and aborting the autoreclose. Subsequent lightning strikes coupled with a pre-existing line outage disconnected both generating stations from each other as well as from the integrated system. The larger of the two generating stations and almost all the regional load formed an islanded subsystem, which eventually collapsed and blacked out. During the restoration of the subsystem, steady-state resonant overvoltages higher than 145% were experienced.


The occurrence of blackouts can’t be eliminated entirely because power systems are very complex, geographically dispersed and have many machines operating synchronously. However, the lessons learned from these unwelcome events can help to minimize the probability of recurrence. So, the intent of the presentation is to share the lessons learned by BC Hydro from forensic analysis of the disturbances leading to a regional blackout and describes the risk of unsafe overvoltages from a near power frequency resonant condition during the restoration process. A simple circuit analysis will be used to provide insight into the phenomenon of the low-frequency ringdown current which caused the reactor protection to trip and the near power frequency resonance which led to the overvoltages. Corrective actions implemented to prevent recurrence of a similar incident will also be presented.



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Speaker(s): Dr. Mukesh Nagpal,


11:55AM – 12:05 PM: Sign-in

12:05PM – 12:50PM: Presentation

12:50PM – 1:00 PM: Q&A 

Room: Skytrain Room, Auditorium
Bldg: BC Hydro Edmonds Office
Skytrain Room, Auditorium – BC Hydro Edmonds Office
6911 Southpoint Drive
Burnaby, BC, British Columbia


February 7, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
More Information and Registration