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Electric Reliability Update - February 16, 2017

February 16, 2017


FERC Issues Order on CAISO BAL-003-1.1 Compliance  – February 2 – FERC issued an order on compliance, clarification, and rehearing in a proceeding in which CAISO filed tariff revisions to comply with Reliability Standard BAL-003-1.1 – Frequency Response and Frequency Bias Setting (BAL-003-1.1) which established CAISO’s authority to procure transferred frequency response from other Balancing Authorities (BA).  In the order, FERC granted requests for clarification that contracts for transferred frequency response may be supported by a BA’s frequency response measure, consistent with the performance standard required for BAL-003-1.1 compliance and accepted a CAISO compliance filing.  FERC also denied requests for rehearing that CAISO’s transferred frequency response compliance scheme was flawed.  

FERC Approves NERC/WECC Interpretation of Regional Reliability Standard BAL-002-WECC-2a - January 24 - FERC issued a letter order approving a proposed NERC/WECC interpretation of regional Reliability Standard BAL-002-WECC-2a (Contingency Reserve).  The interpretation incorporates FERC’s determination that non-traditional resources may qualify as “Operating Reserve-Spinning,” provided applicable requirements are met.

FERC Schedules Technical Conference on Grid Reliability Policy Issues - January 24 - FERC announced that a Commissioner-led technical conference will be held on June 22, 2017 to discuss policy issues related to the reliability of the Bulk-Power System. An agenda will be issued at a later date.


NERC Withdraws Petition for Approval of Interpretation of Disturbance Control Performance Reliability Standard - February 2 - NERC submitted to FERC a Notice of Withdrawal of its petition for approval of interpretation to Reliability Standard BAL-002-1 (Disturbance Control Performance).  After NERC filed the petition in February 2013 and FERC proposed to remand it, NERC developed Reliability Standard BAL-002-2 (Disturbance Control Performance - Contingency Reserve for Recovery from a Balancing Contingency Event) to replace BAL-002-1, making the petition unnecessary.

NERC Penalty Activity - January 30 - NERC filed with FERC a spreadsheet notice of penalty resolving 3 violations of 3 Reliability Standards totaling $72,000.  


House Passes Cybersecurity Bills - February 1 - The House of Representatives passed bills on a range of cybersecurity issues: (1) the Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act amends the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 to clarify allowable uses of funds for public transportation security assistance grants; (2) the Cyber Preparedness Act of 2017 amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to enhance preparedness and response capabilities for cyber attacks, and to strengthen the dissemination of information related to cyber threats; and (3)  the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2017 establishes a grant program at the Department of Homeland Security to promote cooperative research and development between the United States and Israel on cybersecurity.

House Subcommittee on Energy Holds Hearing on Response to Cybersecurity Threats - February 1 - The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy held its first hearing of the 115th Congress examining the electricity sector’s efforts to address current and future cyber threats.  Subcommittee Chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) stated that the subcommittee’s agenda will focus on structural, economic, and technological factors affecting development and security of the nation's electricity system.  NERC President and CEO Gerry Cauley provided testimony focusing on the efforts in place by NERC to address cybersecurity and grid protection through CIP standards, situational awareness, and information sharing and collaboration with government and industry.

Regional Developments

CAISO Submits Tariff Revision to Comply with Outage Reliability Standard - January 27 - CAISO requested FERC approval of proposed revisions to the outage coordination provisions of the CAISO tariff.  CAISO state that the revisions are needed in order to conform the CAISO tariff to Peak Reliability's (Peak) implementation of Reliability Standard IRO-017-1 (Outage Coordination), which now requires separate approval from both Peak and CAISO before generators or transmission operators may take an outage.   CAISO requested that FERC approve the revisions by March 28, 2017, to comply with the Reliability Standard's April 1, 2017 mandatory compliance date.


The Van Ness Feldman Electric Reliability Update is published by Malcolm McLellan, Suzanne 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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