FERC issued a final rule to provide greater transparency and uniformity to the definition of the bulk electric system. Key revisions to the current definition remove language allowing for broad discretion across the reliability regions and establish a “bright-line” threshold that includes all facilities operated at or above 100 kilovolts, December 20, 2012 Order No. 773.
FERC approves regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 (Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding Requirements). This final rule finds that PRC-006-SERC-01 is designed to work in conjunction with PRC-006-1 (i.e., the national UFLS Reliability Standard) to mitigate effectively the consequences of an underfrequency event while accommodating differences in system transmission and distribution topology among SERC planning coordinators due to historical design criteria, makeup of load demands, and generation resources. The final rule directs one modification to an associated violation risk factor, which NERC and SERC agreed to make in their NOPR comments. The final rule also addresses SERC’s commitment to modify the rationale statement for one Requirement to address a possible inconsistency between the regional Reliability Standard and national UFLS Reliability Standard PRC-006-1. December 20, 2012 Order No. 772.
FERC conditionally approves, with limited exceptions, numerous revisions to the NERC Rules of Procedure and its appendices, including revisions to Sections 300 (Reliability Standards Development), 400 (Compliance Enforcement), 600 (Personnel Certification), 800 (Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis), 1000 (Situation Awareness and Infrastructure Security), 1400 (Amendments to the Rules of Procedure), and 1700 (Challenges to Determinations), and Appendices 2 (Definitions), 3C (Procedure for Coordinating Reliability Standards Approvals, Remands, and Directives), 4B (Sanction Guidelines), 4C (Uniform Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program), 5B (Statement of Compliance Registry Criteria), and 6 (System Operator Certification Program Manual). NERC is also directed to make compliance and informational filings within 60 days. December 20, 2012 Decision.
FERC seeks comment on proposes to direct the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, to develop Reliability Standards, in two stages, that address the risks posed by geomagnetic disturbances to the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System, October 18, 2012 NOPR.
FERC seeks comment on proposed revised Reliability Standard FAC-003-2 (Transmission Vegetation Management), which incorporates new minimum vegetation clearance distances into the standard and would expand the applicability of the standard beyond that of the currently-effective standard to include certain additional transmission lines of less than 200 kV. The NOPR seeks comment and clarification on certain aspects of the proposed standard, including additional clarification about NERC’s approach to enforcement of the standard. Finally, the NOPR proposes to require NERC to raise the Violation Risk Factor associated with Requirement R2 from Medium to High. October 18, 2012 NOPR.
FERC accepts NERC compliance filing regarding “Find, Fix, Track Report” and provides additional time to submit additional materials, September 20, 2012. Decision.
FERC seeks comment on on regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1, Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding for the Northeast Power Coordinating Council Region, September 20, 2012, NOPR.
FERC issued a Final Rule to revise its delegations of authority to align with an internal Commission reorganization, which reassigned certain responsibilities for specific Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) filings. In particular, this Final Rule transfers delegated authority, from the Director of the Commission’s Office of Electric Reliability to the Director of the Commission’s Office of Energy Market Regulation, to act on ERO filings pertaining to ERO annual budgets, ERO delegation agreements, and ERO policies and procedures, September 20, 2012, Order No. 766.
FERC seeks comment on regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 (Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding Requirements). This standard is designed to ensure that automatic underfrequency load shedding protection schemes designed by planning coordinators and implemented by applicable distribution providers and transmission owners in the SERC Reliability Corporation (SERC) Region are coordinated to effectively mitigate the consequences of an underfrequency event, July 19, 2012, NOPR.
Commission finds that Section 215 of the FPA authorizes the imposition of a monetary penalty against a federal agency for violation of a mandatory Reliability Standard and, accordingly, allows the $19,500 penalty as assessed by NERC to go into effect, July 19, 2012, Decision.
FERC Proposes to Approve NERC’s Revised Definition for Bulk Electric System, June 22, 2012, NOPR.
FERC Approves Policy Outlining its Role in EPA’s New Mercury Rule, May 17, 2012, Policy Statement.
FERC issues order on NERC’s compliance registry, April 19, 2012, Decision.
FERC remands proposed Transmission Planning (TPL) Reliability Standard TPL-002-0b, which includes a provision that allows for planned load shed in a single contingency provided that the plan is documented and alternatives are considered and vetted in an open and transparent process. FERC finds that this provision is vague, unenforceable and not responsive to the previous Commission directives on this matter, April 19, 2012, Order No. 762.
FERC seeks comment on approval of modified Transmission Planning Reliability Standard, TPL-001-2 which combines four currently effective TPL Reliability Standards, TPL-001-1, TPL-002-1b, TPL-003-1a, and TPL-004-1, into this single standard. and the retirement of the 4. Further, comments our sought on the remand proposed Reliability Standard, TPL-001-2, April 19, 2012, NOPR.
FERC approves eight modified Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards, CIP-002-4 through CIP-009-4. These standards provide a cybersecurity framework for the identification and protection of “Critical Cyber Assets” to support the reliable operation of the Bulk-Power System, April 19,2012 Order No. 761.
FERC approves revised Reliability Standard PRC-023-2 – Transmission Relay Loadability. This Standard requires transmission owners, generation owners, and distribution providers to set load-responsive phase protection relays according to specific criteria in order to ensure that the relays reliably detect and protect the electric network from fault conditions, but do not limit transmission loadability or interfere with a system operator’s ability to protect system reliability, March 15, 2012, Order No.759.
FERC Accepts New Enforcement Mechanism for Reliability Standards, March 15, 2012, Decision.
FERC Seeks Comment on Staff Proposal for Extensions of Time on EPA Air Rule, January 30, 2012, Comments Filed.