On June 19, 2014, FERC approved Reliability Standard EOP-010-1, a new reliability standard requiring certain reliability coordinators and transmission operators of the bulk-electric system to develop procedures to help mitigate the effects geomagnetic disturbances (“GMDs”) have on the bulk-electric system.  Reliability Standard EOP-010-1 was submitted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) in response to FERC’s directives in Order No. 779 (see May 20, 2013 edition of the WER), and represents the first of a two-stage process designed to address GMD events.  FERC also approved NERC’s proposal to allow parties roughly six months to implement the requirements of Reliability Standard EOP-010-1.

Under the Reliability Standard EOP-010-1, only those reliability coordinators and transmission operators in areas with certain power transformers that possess a terminal voltage of greater than 200 kV are subject to the standard’s three requirements.  The first requirement directs reliability coordinators to develop, implement, and maintain a GMD operating plan that coordinates all GMD operating procedures or processes within its coordination area.  While reliability operators are required to ensure that all operating procedures and processes do not conflict with each other, the transmission operators are responsible for the technical aspects of their own procedures and processes.

The second requirement directs reliability coordinators to distribute space weather information so that all entities within the coordination area will maintain coordination and consistent awareness throughout the area.  This requirement also replaces Requirement R3 of Reliability Standard IRO-005-3.1a, which addresses the dissemination of space weather information.

The third and final requirement directs transmission operators to develop GMD operating procedures and processes that are tailored to each operator’s specific system.  In developing such procedures and processes, transmission operators must identify: (1) the specific steps a transmission operator will take in order to receive space weather information; (2) the specific actions the transmission operator will take under certain GMD events; and (3) when, under certain GMD events, will the GMD operating procedures and processes terminate and normal operation will resume.

Reliability Standard EOP-010-1 will become effective on the first day of the first calendar quarter six months after FERC approval.  To the extent Reliability Standard EOP-010-1 becomes effective before Reliability Standard IRO-005-3.1a is retired, then the second requirement of Reliability Standard EOP-010-1 will become effective one day after the retirement of Reliability Standard IRO-005-3.1a.  

A copy of the order is available here.