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Electric Reliability Update - August 16, 2017

August 16, 2017


FERC Quorum Restored - August 10 - The Senate confirmed Neil Chatterjee and Robert F. Powelson as FERC Commissioners on August 4.  President Trump named Chatterjee as Chairman, and with the swearing in of Chatterjee on August 8 and Powelson on August 10, FERC’s quorum has been restored.


NERC Board Approves Business Plan and Budget at Quarterly Meeting - August 10 - At its quarterly meeting, the NERC Board of Trustees approved NERC’s 2018 Business Plan and Budget, which includes funding that, supports the long-term strategy for the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center.  

NERC Board Standards Actions – August 10 – The NERC Board of Trustees:

 Adopted one new standard: 

  • CIP-013-1, Supply Chain Risk Management, which requires entities to assess the security risks of vendor products and services when planning and procuring.

Modified three existing standards:

  • CIP-005-6, Cyber Security, Electronic Security Perimeter modified to address vendor-initiated remote access.
  • CIP-010-3, Cyber Security, Configuration Change Management and Vulnerability Assessments which was modified to address software integrity and authenticity.
  • PRC-006-3, Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding, which defines a more accurate generation deficiency scenario applicable to the Québec Interconnection and serves to prevent unnecessary load shed.

Modified two regional standards:

  • PRC-006-SERC-02, Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding Requirements, which allows implementation time to change peak season.
  • BAL-502-RF-03, Planning Resource Adequacy Analysis, Assessment and Documentation, which adds time horizons to requirements and requires Planning Coordinator to identify gaps between needed and projected planning reserves.

Made miscellaneous changes to three other standards:

  • BAL-002-2(i), Disturbance Control Standard, which changed R1 and R2 Violation Risk Factors from “medium” to “high."
  • VAR-001-4.1, Voltage and Reactive Control, which made errata changes.
  • VAR-002-4, Generator Operation for Maintaining Network Voltage Schedules, which made errata changes.


NERC Issues White Paper on Impact of August 21 Solar Eclipse on BPS - August 7 - NERC issued a white paper entitled “A Wide-Area Perspective on the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse,” in which NERC concludes that the upcoming August 21 solar eclipse is unlikely to cause impacts to bulk power system operations. However, the white paper notes that specific states with large amount of photovoltaic resources are expected to experience an increase in load and possible ramping and balancing concerns.

NERC Penalty Activity - July 31 - NERC filed with FERC a spreadsheet notice of penalty resolving 14 violations of 8 Reliability Standards totaling $250,000 in penalties.


E-ISAC Releases Report on Ukrainian Cyberattack - August 2 - The Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) released a report, TLP:White – ICS Defense Use Case No. 6: Modular ICS Malware,  analyzing the malware reportedly used in the December 2016 Ukrainian power system attack.  The report, quotes NERC Chief Security Officer Marcus H. Sachs as saying “The importance of this Defense Use Case cannot be overstated – the malware discussed in this report is available to one or more threat actors that have demonstrated intent to disrupt electric grid operations.”


The Van Ness Feldman Electric Reliability Update is published by Malcolm McLellan, Suzanne Keppeler McBride, Van Smith, Gabe Tabak, Darsh Singh, Tyler Elliott, and Michael Weiner.  Van Ness Feldman counsels, advises and trains a wide range of clients on reliability matters.  Please email us or call us at 206.829.1814 or 202.298.1800 for additional information. Click here to sign up for the Reliability Update.  

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