On February 15, 2024, FERC approved two new extreme cold weather Reliability Standards EOP-011-4 (Emergency Operations) and TOP-002-5 (Operations Planning).

This approval is the culmination of a joint inquiry and November 2021 report (“Report”) among FERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”), and regional entity staff into a February 2021 cold weather reliability event that affected Texas and the South-Central United States, which was the largest controlled firm load shed event in U.S. history.  The Report recommended reliability standard enhancements to improve extreme cold weather operations, preparedness, and coordination.Continue Reading FERC Approves Extreme Cold Weather Reliability Standards EOP-011-4 and TOP-002-5

On September 22, 2016, the Commission approved Reliability Standard TPL-007-1 (Transmission System Planned Performance for Geomagnetic Disturbance Events), which establishes for the first time mandatory requirements for Transmission Owners and other entities to assess the vulnerability of transmission systems to geomagnetic disturbance events (“GMDs”), which occur when the sun ejects charged particles that cause changes in the earth’s magnetic fields. The Standard requires that entities who do not meet certain performance requirements, based on the results of their vulnerability assessments, develop a plan to achieve those performance requirements. The Commission also affirmed that recovery for prudent costs to comply with TPL-007-1, including for the purchase and installation of monitoring devices, will be available to registered entities.
Continue Reading FERC Approves Transmission GMD Reliability Standard

On July 21, 2016, in Order No. 829, FERC directed the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) to develop a new or modified Critical Infrastructure Protection (“CIP”) Reliability Standard that addresses supply chain risk management for industrial control system hardware, software, and computing and networking services associated with Bulk Electric System operations. FERC directed NERC to submit the new or modified Reliability Standard within one year of the effective date of the order, which is 60 days after the order’s publication in the Federal Register.
Continue Reading FERC Directs NERC to Develop Reliability Standard for Supply Chain Cyber Controls

On June 16, 2016, FERC amended its regulations to require that the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) provide FERC Commissioners and staff with access, on a non-public and ongoing basis, to NERC’s Transmission Availability Data System (“TADS”), the Generating Availability Data System (“GADS”), and the protection system misoperations database. While FERC explained that such access would “provide the Commission with information necessary to determine the need for new or modified Reliability Standards and to better understand NERC’s periodic reliability and adequacy assessments,” it also added that “the Commission is not precluded from using the accessed data for other statutory purposes.”
Continue Reading FERC Grants Itself Access to NERC Transmission and Generation Databases

On May 19, 2016, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in which it proposed to approve Reliability Standard BAL-002-2, Disturbance Control Standard—Contingency Reserve for Recovery from a Balancing Contingency Event (“May 19 NOPR”). In the May 19 NOPR, FERC described BAL-002-2 as designed to ensure that Registered Entities “are able to recover from system contingencies by deploying adequate reserves to return their Area Control Error to defined values and by replacing the capacity and energy lost due to generation or transmission equipment outages.” FERC also proposed in the May 19 NOPR to direct the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) to: (i) modify BAL-002-2 to address concerns related to the possible extension or delay of the periods for Area Control Error recovery and contingency reserve restoration; and (ii) address a reliability “gap” associated with NERC’s proposed definition of “Reportable Balancing Contingency Event.”
Continue Reading FERC Issues NOPR on Disturbance Control Reliability Standard

On March 31, 2016 the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) the 2016 NERC Standards Report, Status and Timetable for Addressing Regulatory Directives (the “Report”). The Report was submitted in compliance with NERC’s requirement to submit an annual report detailing the status and timetable for addressing outstanding regulatory directives on or before March 31 of each year.
Continue Reading NERC Issues Annual Report on Meeting FERC Directives

On March 21, 2016, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) an informational filing (the “Report”) on the implementation of the Risk-Based Registration (“RBR”) initiative. The filing was made in compliance with a corresponding directive from the Commission’s March 19, 2015 order largely approving NERC’s RBR initiative (see March 23, 2015 edition of the WER).
Continue Reading NERC Issues First Informational Report on Risk-Based Registration

On March 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued an order approving Reliability Standard PRC-026-1 (Relay Performance During Stable Power Swings). According to the Commission, PRC-026-1 is “designed to ensure that applicable entities use protective relay systems that can differentiate between faults and stable power swings.” The Commission also approved the proposed violation risk factors, violation severity levels, and implementation plan for PRC-026-1. Under the approved implementation plan, Requirement R1 of PRC-026-1 will become effective 12 months after Commission approval, and Requirements R2, R3, and R4 will become effective 36 months after Commission approval.
Continue Reading FERC Approves Reliability Standard Aimed at Relay Performance

On February 25, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) extended the implementation deadline for the critical infrastructure protection (“CIP”) version 5 Reliability Standards, from April 1, 2016 to July 1, 2016, granting a February 4, 2016 motion filed by several industry trade associations requesting the extension.
Continue Reading FERC Grants Extension of CIP Version 5 Implementation Deadline

On February 18, 2016, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) filed with the Commission its first annual report (the “Report”) on NERC’s Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program (“CMEP”). NERC submitted the Report in compliance with a directive from the Commission’s February 19, 2015 Order approving NERC’s implementation of the Reliability Assurance Initiative (“RAI”) (see February 24, 2015 edition of the WER).
Continue Reading NERC Issues First Annual Report on Compliance Program