computer power backup systems PG&E Year 2000 Drill On Electricity Goes OK
Pacific Natural Gas and Electric Power Corporation and State Grid operators said yesterday that the first preparation exercise for 2000 was progressing smoothly.The exercise marks the first of two major tests under the supervision of the North American power reliability board (NERC), an umbrella organization that is responsible for ensuring that electricity is available to anyone accessing the grid.More than 3,000 power companies-All system operators in the United States and Canada--Participated in the first of two large drills that grid operators believe will be ready for any 2000 power system failure a year.Yesterday's exercise was conducted on the 99 th day of 1999.Again, the second one will appear on another critical date considered to be testing the computer system ---Sept.9, 1999.Power officials say many computer systems in the past have been programmed to shut down after reading a series of "Nine" and may disrupt operations similar to the worrying 2000 issue, known as the Y2 K.Y2 K is a computer programmer who decides to use only the last two digits to represent the remainder of the year.It is believed that many systems will fail when "00" in 2000 is misinterpreted as "1900."In California, PG & E and California Independent System Operators switched to the backup system for 2 1/2 hours yesterday to handle analog crashes in data and voice communication systems.In addition to minor errors, including the wrong phone number and pager problems, officials said they were able to collect and transmit current data on transmission lines."All alternative telecom pads are going as planned," said iso cio Dennis Fishback .".Bob Stuart, director of operations engineering at PG & E, said the utility had no major issues communicating with ISO and operators.An in-The NERC is expected to conduct an in-depth analysis of the results within three weeks, officials said.In its quarterly report to the United States in JanuaryS.Energy Department NERC said it expects no major failure in power supply in early 2000, noting that utilities will not be threatened by major regional power outages.The second NERC report will be submitted to the department by the end of April.