NERC board adopts 5 standards; highlights strategic milestones accomplished by the ERO

Arlington, Va. — The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) quarterly Board of Trustees meeting took place on May 9 in Arlington, Va. Board Chair John Q. Anderson opened the meeting, welcoming FERC Commissioners John Norris and Cheryl LaFleur, and U.S. and Canadian industry participants.

NERC President and Chief Executive Officer Gerry Cauley commended the cooperation and collaboration between NERC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the September 2011 Southwest outage inquiry report. The thoroughness and detail of the report lay important groundwork for how the industry can better ensure the reliability of the bulk power system.

“The joint outage report allows us to look at events from a broader perspective and see commonalities across the system, not just in one interconnection,” Cauley said. “We need to look at underlying issues before events happen to make sure we have adequate programs in place. This introspection can be accomplished through a riskbased approach of testing and evaluating.”

Cauley also highlighted three strategic milestones achieved to date in 2012 by the electric reliability organization (ERO):

–          Standards Process Input Group. The high-level Member Representatives Committee working group was formed to provide policy input and recommendations on key issues in the standards area, including quality of process and product, timeliness, efficiency and effectiveness, and significance of American National Standards Institute requirements.

–          State of Reliability report. This report follows the 2011 foundational report that reviews and assesses the state of reliability based on trends identified through data combined with root cause analysis of events. The key findings serve as technical input to NERC’s Reliability Standards and project prioritization, compliance process improvements, event analysis, reliability assessment and critical infrastructure protection.

–          Severe Impact Resilience and Cyber Attack Task Force reports. These two reports are the final of four task force reports that address high-impact, low-frequency events. The reports provide guidance to industry on enhancing and protecting the resilience of the bulk power system against debilitating grid events. Previous task force reports addressed geomagnetic disturbances and spare equipment.

During this meeting, the board adopted five reliability standards: FAC-003-3 – Transmission Vegetation Management Program; PRC-005-1.1b – Transmission and Generation Protection System Maintenance and Testing; TOP-001-2 – Transmission Operations; TOP-002-3 – Operations Planning; and TOP—003-2 – Operational Reliability Data Real-Time Operations. One interpretation, 2010-05 of CIP-002-1 for Duke Energy, also was adopted.

FERC Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur, John Norris and Philip Moeller attended the Member Representatives Committee meeting on May 8. The next NERC Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for August 16 in Quebec City, Canada.