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Arizona utility to pay $3.25M for 2011 blackout

Federal regulators say they've reached a $3.25 million settlement with an Arizona utility over a 2011 blackout that left millions of people without power in California, Arizona and Mexico.

The settlement approved Monday between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Arizona Public Service Co. is expected to be the first of several stemming from the blackout that involved a half-dozen utilities and grid operators.

The settlement requires APS to pay $2 million to the federal government and $1.25 million for improvements to the electrical grid.

A maintenance failure at an APS switch yard near Yuma, Arizona, led to the blackout. It knocked out power to 2.7 million homes and businesses in Arizona, Southern California and Tijuana, Mexico, on a hot summer day.

APS says in a statement that it neither admits nor denies the violations, but the settlement allows it to move forward and institute improvements.

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