On October 7, 2010, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) issued an industry alert asking for transmission facility owners to create a plan to review their facility ratings and report that plan back to NERC by December 15, 2010. NERC identified possible discrepancies between actual field conditions and the design of those conditions, and since there are over 450,000 miles of transmission lines greater than 100 kv, the situation requires immediate actions to mitigate any potential risks.

The NERC alert recommends registered entities review their ratings methodology to ensure the ratings are based on actual field conditions, not any design documents. If any discrepancies exist, then those entities are expected to take remedial measures. NERC acknowledges that transmission lines are not readily accessible, but NERC also said new technologies should help alleviate concerns about accessing remote lines.

NERC’s press release on the facility ratings alert is available here.