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FERC Closed Due to Power Outage

More than 1,500 customers in Northeast Washington, DC, including FERC, and some customers in the Northwest section of the city were without power Wednesday due to a heat wave. Utility provider Pepco said it expected power to the affected area to be restored by midnight, but it was unclear whether the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would be open Thursday.

At 3:57 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday, the outage occurred along the North Capitol Street corridor and north of Union Station, where FERC is located. The outage was caused by failures in underground cables that are part of a "network" that provides power to the affected area. Pepco, which serves customers in Maryland and DC, said crews have completed initial repairs.

On Wednesday Pepco said its crews located and began repairs to a second cable failure.

FERC was closed Wednesday, with only emergency personnel reporting for duty. The Commission said any filings that were due on May 31 or June 1 will be considered timely if filed on the next business day that FERC is open. "eFiling is NOT available," the Commission said on its website, which was only partially operational early Wednesday after being completely dark. However, parties can now search dockets on the agency's website (www.ferc.gov).

"It is unclear at this time when we will return to the office, but in the meantime, we are posting updates on the ferc.gov website, and to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We continue to update when events warrant," said FERC spokeswoman Mary O'Driscoll.

The outage was attributed to a heavy air conditioning load stemming from high summer temperatures, which have neared 100 degrees this week .

Ironically the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the FERC-certified electricity reliability organization, just released a summer reliability assessment for the nation, which concluded that the bulk power system would be able to meet the electricity demands this summer.

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