CLEVELAND - The blame for last week's blackout might be shifting.
NewsChannel5's Ted Hart reported that, according to the Midwest grid operator, other high-voltage lines failed before FirstEnergy's.
FirstEnergy has said all along that there were unusual electrical conditions on other lines prior to its lines tripping.
A NewsChannel5 special investigation into the power failure set to air this weekend revealed tens of thousands of relay devices called "silent sentinels" may not have been calibrated correctly.
"These silent sentinels that we talked about -- they're relays," said Thomas Kraynak, of the East Central Area Reliability Council. "They open in one-thousands of a second -- very, very fast times frames. And once a cascading event starts, you better have set your relays properly and thought out what you're going to do ahead of time, because there's no human being who can stop it."
Meanwhile, the Perry Nuclear Power Plant started producing electricity once again early Friday morning. That, together with reduced demand because of Friday's lower temperatures, allowed FirstEnergy to withdraw its call for conservation.
But the company's problems are far from over. Financial statements show dwindling cash on hand and reduced cash flow.
The company points to its problems at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant. What has turned out to be an extended outage apparently has cost the company $25 million to $30 million per month.
Even before last week's blackout, the company suffered a few summer setbacks. They included blackouts along the coast of New Jersey over the July 4 weekend, a court ruling that the company was in violation of the Clean Air Act, and an auditing requirement forcing the company to report lower earnings.
In addition, the company is under pressure to reduce debt. Even though the jury is still out on FirstEnergy's role in the blackout, the event will make it that much harder for the company to recover.
Investigators continue to say it is too early to know what caused the blackout and that it is unfair to speculate. They say it could be months before the cause is known.
NewsChannel5 will air a special 30-minute investigation on the power crisis at 6:30 p.m. Saturday called "What Went Wrong."
The show will explore what happened and when, as well as how well northeast Ohio responded. It will also provide new information on what may have caused the outage.
- August 21, 2003: High Temperatures Cause Thousands To Lose Power
- August 20, 2003: Consumers Seek Refunds For Events Canceled By Outage
- August 20, 2003: Energy Secretary: Outage Investigation To Start In Ohio
- August 20, 2003: Investigators: 4 Minor Incidents Led To Massive Blackout
- August 19, 2003: FirstEnergy's CEO Speaks Up
- August 19, 2003: Congressman Says Eastlake Plant Didn't Trigger Blackout
- August 19, 2003: Al-Qaida: We're Behind Power Outage
- August 18, 2003: FirstEnergy Says It Noticed Glitches By Noon Thursday
- August 17, 2003: The Power Crisis: What Went Wrong?
- August 16, 2003: Power Outage Reportedly Started In Cleveland Suburb
- August 15, 2003: Boy Catches Video Of Petrified Roller Coaster Riders
- August 15, 2003: Rolling Blackouts To Stop At End Of Business Day
- August 15, 2003: Run On Gas, Food Creates Mess In Painesville
- August 15, 2003: Miners Trapped In Salt Mine
- August 14, 2003: Riders Stranded On Cedar Point Coaster
- August 14, 2003: Meteorologists Debunk Lightning Theory