On July 15, 2010, the Commission released Order No. 729-B, which granted requests for rehearing on the implementation timeline for Order No. 729-A. In its new order, FERC decided to calibrate the timing of the MOD Reliability Standards implementation date from the date of FERC approval, not the date of publication in the Federal Register. Thus, the standards will become effective on April 1, 2011.
Previously, Order No. 729-A clarified the implementation timeline for certain standards regarding the calculation of available transfer capability or available flowgate capability. In Order No. 729-B, FERC also revised the compliance deadline for business practices issued by the North American Electric Standards Board (“NAESB”) in Order No 676-E to match the deadlines in Order No. 729 with the deadlines in Order No. 676.
In November 2009, FERC released Order No. 729. Among other things, Order No. 729 approved six mandatory Modeling Data, and Analysis (“MOD”) Reliability Standards issued by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”). In Order No. 729, FERC stated that the new MOD Reliability Standards were supposed to become effective on the first calendar quarter that was twelve months after the final approval of the MOD Reliability Standards by all regulatory authorities.
FERC released Order No. 676-E the same day it released Order No. 729. In Order 676-E, FERC incorporated the latest business practice standards that had been adopted by the Wholesale Electric Quadrant of NAESB. Under Order 676-E, compliance with these business practice standards were supposed to coincide with the compliance date of the MOD Reliability Standards.
In response to multiple requests for clarification, Order No. 729-A stated that the effective date of the MOD Reliability Standards was January 1, 2011. However, since FERC released Order No. 729-A on May 5, 2010, parties were not sure if the 12-month implementation timeline would start anew. As such, some petitioners suggested that the new compliance date should be set to July 1, 2011, based on publication of Order No. 729-A in the Federal Register. Other petitioners suggested an April 1, 2011 effective date, based on the May release of Order No. 729-A.
In its new order, FERC decided to calibrate the timing of the MOD Reliability Standards implementation date from the date of FERC approval, not the date of publication in the Federal Register. Thus, the standards will become effective on April 1, 2011. Additionally, FERC rejected all requests to wait until certain Canadian provinces approved the MOD Reliability Standards. In order to maintain consistency with the NAESB standards, FERC also changed the implementation of the business practice standards to April 1, 2011. As such, those NAESB-tariff revisions are still due at least ninety days before the April 1, 2011 compliance date in order to abide by the NAESB standards by April.
Finally, FERC also clarified that transmission operators that comply with their data requirements under the MOD Reliability Standards will not be liable when they do not receive data from other operators. FERC reasoned that this holding was consistent with Order No. 729-A, which determined that it would not hold domestic transmission providers liable for any foreign transmission providers that failed to share data.
A copy of FERC’s decision is available here.