Avangrid, the parent company of Central Maine Power, has agreed to pay a $450,000 fine for violating transmission standards meant to maintain reliability on the region’s electric grid.

The fine was assessed by the North American Electric Reliability Corp., a nonprofit organization that helps set standards for the nation’s bulk transmission system.

The violations involve three Avangrid subsidiaries: CMP, New York State Electric and Gas, and Rochester Gas and Electric. The utilities self-reported the incidents and no actual harm occurred, according an article published Monday by S&P Global Platts, which covers trade information on energy and commodities markets.

The incidents took place on Nov. 27, 2017, at the New York utilities and on  Jan. 11, 2019, at CMP.

Utilities are required to conduct assessments of their transmission facilities at least every 30 minutes. The goal is to detect conditions that could lead to widespread power outages or other threats.

The CMP incident was a data entry error that compromised monitoring systems. CMP immediately noticed the failure and fixed it after more than an hour, but didn’t notify ISO-New England, the regional grid operator, as required.

The root cause was “lack of effective management oversight, including insufficient training.”

In a statement Tuesday, Avangrid media relations manager, Ed Crowder, said the company worked with regulators to identify the root causes and updated its processes and training to prevent future occurrences. He noted that no customers were affected and the company took responsibility for the lapse.

“We take our obligation to provide a robust and reliable transmission system very seriously,” he said, “which is why we self-reported these incidents.”

The incidents at the New York utilities were more extensive and longer lasting, involving server failures for a system that analyzes transmission networks.

The settlement still needs to be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Avangrid has $32 billion in assets and operations in 24 states. Last year, it reported nearly $600 million in net income.


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