The statement did not name the "system operators," but the equipment was owned and installed by Entergy New Orleans.
"Based on the onsite testing, we have determined that if higher settings had been applied, the equipment would not have disconnected the power," said Michael J.S. Edmonds, vice president of strategic solutions for the company.
In a follow-up statement, Entergy said that "tests conducted by S&C and Entergy on the two relays installed at the Superdome shows that one relay functioned as expected and the other relay did not." Entergy spokesman Mike Burns, who released the statement, did not have an immediate answer when asked if both relays had the same trip setting.
During the morning committee hearing, City Council member Susan Guidry asked Entergy executives whether they were "fairly certain" that the relay device was faulty.
"That is correct," said Dennis Dawsey, an Entergy vice president.
However, when asked if the outage was caused by the design or a defect in a part of the equipment, Entergy New Orleans CEO Charles Rice said that had not been determined.
"The equipment did not function properly," Rice said. "At this particular time, based upon our analysis, we cannot say definitively that there was a defect in design. What we do know is that the equipment for some unknown reason at this particular time, did not react the way that it should have."
Asked if Entergy and SMG still plan to hire a third-party investigator to get to the bottom of the cause, Rice said that possibility remains open.
"We'll work closely with SMG and if there is a need for a third-party investigation, we will do that," Rice said, adding that Entergy was also working with the manufacturer.