On September 16, 2010, FERC rejected the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (“NERC”) request for rehearing and/or clarification of a March 18, 2010 directive to NERC to propose revisions to its Rules of Procedure, among other items. (see March 19, 2010 edition of the WER)

In its original March 18th order, FERC directed NERC to propose revisions to its Rules of Procedure that would ensure that NERC, as the Electric Reliability Organization (“ERO”) could comply with a Commission directive to develop a new or modified Reliability Standard and satisfy the requirements of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”).  [The Commission has since extended the compliance date for this directive to 270 days from the March 18th order]  The Commission also directed NERC to comply with the directive to modify Reliability Standard FAC-008-1 no later than 90 days from the date of FERC’s future order on NERC’s proposed revisions.

In its September order, the Commission denied NERC and other parties’ request for rehearing of the March 18th order.  The Commission emphasized that their directive did not require NERC to change its Rules of Procedure to allow the Commission to “dictate” the content of the Reliability Standards, and held that the parties requesting rehearing had misunderstood the directive as such.  Also the Commission maintained that its directive did not violate FPA Section 215 and did not attempt to prevent the NERC from including full participation of Canadian and Mexican entities, as some comments warned.  Additionally, the Commission stated that it was not the intention of the Commission to take on control of Standards Development Process, but to prevent the current NERC Standards Development Process from blocking attempts to comply with a Commission directive.  FERC used the standard FAC-008 as an example of the flaws in the current process.  That standard was supposed to be modified according to the March order; however, the NERC process allowed for the Commission-ordered changes to never pass the NERC ballot procedure.

In addition to denying rehearing, reconsideration, and the request for stay, the Commission also denied NERC’s request for a conference as a result of the July 6, 2010 Reliability Technical Conference in Docket No. AD10-14-000.

A copy of the Commission’s order can be found at www.ferc.gov under Docket No. RR09-6-001 and here.