The shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility for emergency reasons, or a condition in which the equipment is unavailable as a result of an unanticipated breakdown. An outage (whether full, partial, or attributable to a failed start) is considered "forced" if it could not reasonably be delayed beyond 48 hours from identification of the problem, if there had been a strong commercial desire to do so. In particular, the following problems may result in forced outages:
- Any failure of mechanical, fuel handling, or electrical equipment or controls within the generator's ownership or direct responsibility (i.e., from the point the generator is responsible for the fuel through to the electrical connection point)
- A failure of a mine or fuel transport system dedicated to that power station with a resulting fuel shortage that cannot be economically managed
- Inadvertent or operator error
- Limitations caused by fuel quality
Forced outages do not include scheduled outages for inspection, maintenance, or refueling.