August 9, 2011 - a major solar flare caused fade-outs in the SW broadcasts of Radio Netherlands World, but after an hour, broadcasting had returned to its normal clarity. Solar flare disrupts RNW short wave reception [RNP, 2011]. This was the first major SW blackout in China since the X7.9-class flare on January 21, 2005, which affected Beijing and surrounding eastern population centers. [Xinhuanet, 2005]. On February 15, 2011 another large solar flare disrupted southern Chinese SW broadcasting. The China Meteorological Administration reported an X2.2- class flare at that time. [Xihuanet, 2011]. The January 23, 2012 M9-class solar flare disrupted broadcasts on the 6 –- 20 meters bands across North America, and severely affected the UHF and VHF bands for a period of a few hours. [SWA, 2012]
August 25, 2011 - South Africa's $13 million KEO satellite SumbandilaSat failed, and the explicit cause was stated publically to be 'damage from a recent solar storm', which caused the satellite's onboard computer to stop responding to commands from the ground station.[Martin, 2012]
October 6, 2011 - Anik F2 'technical anomaly' is a replay of similar stories during the 23rd cycle. The satellite entered a Safe Mode that caused it to stop functioning and turn away from Earth. The Boeing satellite was launched in 2004 and was expected to function for 15 years. The Owner of the satellite, Telsat, indicated in public news articles that they did not believe the problem had to do with the arrival of a CME that reached Earth early the same morning, but was caused by some other unspecified internal issue with the satellite itself[Mack, 2011]
April 5, 2010 - Galaxy 15 experienced an electrostatic discharge that caused a severe malfunction, rendering the satellite capable of re-transmitting any received signal at full-power, but not able to receive new commanding[de Shelding, 2011]. Reports cited a space weather event on April 5 as the probable cause of the electrostatic discharge that was the likely triggering event, however although Intelsat acknowledged the ESD origin, they categorically refuted the space weather cause in the April 5 solar event, preferring to declare that the origin of the ESD was unknown. A consequenceof this type of satellite failure is that Galaxy-15 was potentially able to interfere with other GEO satellites as it came within 0.5 degrees of their orbital slots.
October 29, 2003 - the FAA’'s GPS-based Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) was severely affected. The ionosphere was so disturbed that the vertical error limit was exceeded, rendering WAAS unusable. The drillship GSF C.R. Luigs encountered significant differential GPS (DGPS) interruptions because of solar activity. These interruptions made the DGPS solutions unreliable. The drillship ended up using its acoustic array at the seabed as the primary solution for positioning when the DGPS solutions were affected by space weather.
December 6, 2006 - the largest solar radio burst ever recorded affected GPS receivers over the entire sunlit side of the Earth. There was a widespread loss of GPS in the mountain states region, specifically around the four corners region of New Mexico and Colorado. Several aircraft reported losing lock on GPS. This event was the first of its kind to be detected on the FAA, WAAS network.
November 1, 1903 - The first public mention that electrical power systems could be disrupted by solar storms appeared in the New York Times, November 2, 1903 "Electric Phenomena in Parts of Europe". The article described the, by now, usual details of how communication channels in France were badly affected by the magnetic storm, but the article then mentions how in Geneva Switzerland, [NYT,1903].
"...All the electrical streetcars were brought to a sudden standstill, and the unexpected cessation of the electrical current caused consternation at the generating works where all efforts to discover the cause were fruitless".
May 15, 1921 - The entire signal and switching system of the New York Central Railroad below 125th street was put out of operation, followed by a fire in the control tower at 57th Street and Park Avenue. The cause of the outage was later ascribed to a ‘'ground current’' that had invaded the electrical system. Brewster New York, railroad officials formally assigned blame for a fire destroyed the Central New England Railroad station, to the aurora. [NYT,1921]
August 2, 1972 - The Bureau of Reclamation power station in Watertown, South Dakota experienced 25,000-volt swings in its power lines. Similar disruptions were reported by Wisconsin Power and Light, Madison Gas and Electric, and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation. The calamity from this one storm didn't end in Wisconsin. In Newfoundland, induced ground currents activated protective relays at the Bowater Power Company. A 230,000-volt transformer at the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority actually exploded. The Manitoba Hydro Company recorded 120-megawatt power drops in a matter of a few minutes in the power it was supplying to Minnesota.
March 13, 1989 - The Quebec Blackout Storm - Most newspapers that reported this event considered the spectacular aurora to be the most newsworthy aspect of the storm. Seen as far south as Florida and Cuba, the vast majority of people in the Northern Hemisphere had never seen such a spectacle in recent memory. At 2:45 AM on March 13, electrical ground currents created by the magnetic storm found their way into the power grid of the Hydro-Quebec Power Authority. Network regulation failed within a few seconds as automatic protective systems took them off-line one by one. The entire 9,500 megawatt output from Hydro-Quebec's La Grande Hydroelectric Complex found itself without proper regulation. Power swings tripped the supply lines from the 2000 megawatt Churchill Falls generation complex, and 18 seconds later, the entire Quebec power grid collapsed. Six million people were affected as they woke to find no electricity to see them through a cold Quebec wintry night. People were trapped in darkened office buildings and elevators, stumbling around to find their way out. Traffic lights stopped working, Engineers from the major North American power companies were worried too. Some would later conclude that this could easily have been a $6 billion catastrophe affecting most US East Coast cities. All that prevented the cascade from affecting the United States were a few dozen capacitors on the Allegheny Network (Odenwald, 1999).
October 30, 2003 - Malmo Sweden, population 50,000 lost electrical power for 50 minutes [Pulkkinen et al., 2005]. The blackout was caused by the tripping of a 130 kV line. It resulted from the operation of a relay that had a higher sensitivity to the third harmonic (=150Hz) than to the fundamental frequency (=50 Hz). The excessive amount of the third harmonics in the system has been concluded to have resulted from transformer saturation caused by GIC. Currents as high as 330 Amperes were recorded on the Simpevarp-1 transformer. [Wik et al.,2009]
October, 2003 - South Africa Transformer Damage. The ESKOM Network reported that 15 transformers were damaged by high GIC currents. Figure 6 shows one of the transformers in a view reminiscent of the legendary images of the 1989 Quebec transformer failure. [Murtagh,2009]
Reference : Sten Odenwald, "Space Weather - Impacts, Mitigation and Forecasting", pp21-25, National Institute for Aerospace, pp45. 2009