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Predicting the Next Major Blackout

When will the next major blackout in the United States occur?  The last great blackout occurred on August 14, 2003 when most of the area from Detroit to New York went dark for several days. What is the most likely sequence of events? What precursors have occurred within the last ten years? Mr. Sleva will discuss four events that illustrate the fragility of power systems.

  • Event 1: December 1998 - San Francisco
  • Event 2: July 1999 – Mid-Atlantic States
  • Event 3: April 1999 - Pennsylvania
  • Event 4: Last Summer – Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee & Virginia

Where do we go from here? How do we reduce the risk? Are we doing enough?


Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at 6:00 PM


American Transmission Co.

The American Transmission Co. is located at N19 W23993 Ridgeview Parkway West, Waukesha, Wisconsin. Free parking will be available. Pizza and soda will be served. For reservations, send an e-mail to Paul Tindall at or call him at 262-506-6919 no later than June 8, 2007.


Tony Sleva, P.E.

Mr. Sleva is president of Sleva Associates, Inc. He has designed and analyzed transmission and distribution substations, power plant electrical systems, railway systems, and industrial plant electrical systems. He has extensive experience with protective relaying, short circuit analysis, load flow analysis, electrical system operations, cold load inrush phenomena, and security of substation hardware.

Tony is a Senior Member of IEEE, Chair of the Lehigh Valley Section of IEEE, member of IEEE’s Power System Relaying Committee (PSRC), former member of IEEE’s Nuclear Power Engineering Committee (NPEC), graduate of Penn State University, licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and an ad hoc instructor at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee’s School of Continuing Education.

Tony holds a patent for an "Electric Power Clipper" that can be used to reduce residential and industrial load during load emergencies as well as during power system transients. He has also authored a textbook, Protective Relay Applications, which will be published by CRC Press in the Fall of 2007.

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