FERC Proposes to Approve Further Enhancements to Electric Grid Reliability


WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today proposed to approve revisions to several electric reliability standards that will strengthen coordinated efforts to plan and reliably operate the bulk electric system under normal and abnormal conditions.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) on Transmission Operations (TOP) and Interconnection Reliability Operations and Coordination (IRO) reliability standards, the Commission proposed to approve a more precise set of standards that clarify and improve the current standards by designating the requirements that apply to transmission operators and to reliability coordinators. The revised TOP standards eliminate gaps and ambiguities, and will improve efficiency by combining the requirements of eight current standards into three cohesive, comprehensive standards, FERC said.

The NOPR also finds the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has adequately addressed concerns, raised in November 2013 proposed rule, about the treatment of system operating limits and interconnection reliability operating limits (IROLs), as well as concerns about outage coordination. Finally, the proposed rule seeks comments on possible inconsistencies in identifying IROLs, monitoring of non-bulk electric system facilities, and data exchange capabilities.

A second NOPR issued today would streamline and clarify existing requirements of the Emergency Preparedness and Operations (EOP) and Protection and Control (PRC) reliability standards. It also would revise the definition of a Remedial Action Scheme (RAS), which is designed to detect predetermined system conditions and automatically take corrective actions. NERC proposed the revisions to eliminate ambiguity, support proper identification of a RAS and produce a more consistent application of related reliability standards.

Comments on the proposed rules are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Also today, the Commission conditionally accepted revisions to NERC’s working capital and operating reserve policy, including a new assessment stabilization reserve intended to mitigate year-to-year swings in assessments that can result from various factors, such as the collection of penalty funds, surplus funds from prior periods, or significant but relatively short-term operating or capital spending needs. The order directs NERC to make a compliance filing within 60 days.

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