FERC Approves Power System Stabilizer Regional Reliability Standard - April 28 – FERC accepted via letter order a petition from NERC and WECC seeking approval of proposed regional reliability standard VAR-501-WECC-3 (Power System Stabilizer) and the associated implementation plan. VAR-501-WECC-3 establishes the performance criteria for power system stabilizers to help ensure the Western Interconnection is operated in a coordinated manner under normal and abnormal conditions. The standard would require WECC Generator Owners and Operators to: (1) provide Transmission Operators with procedures or other documents that inform the Transmission Operator of when a power system stabilizer will be out of service; (2) have the power system stabilizer in service at all times except during specific circumstances; (3) tune power system stabilizers to stated criteria; (4) install and complete start-up testing of a power system stabilizer; and (5) repair or replace a power system stabilizer within a specified time period. The standard will become effective on July 1, 2017.
NERC Evaluates August Solar Eclipse - April 25 - NERC released a white paper entitled "A Wide-Area Perspective on the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse" to evaluate the potential impacts that a solar eclipse may have on system loading and reliability issues spurring from a decreased amount of distributed energy resources. NERC is confident that the eclipse is unlikely to cause any reliability issues due to low solar generation levels, but recommends that utilities in all states perform studies on the eclipse's impact on solar photovoltaic power output.
NERC Penalty Activity - April 27 - NERC filed with FERC a spreadsheet notice of penalty resolving 32 violations of 14 Reliability Standards totaling $2,292,000.
PJM Releases Summer Reliability Assessment - May 8 - PJM Interconnection LLC (PJM) released its 2017 summer reliability assessment stating that it has enough power to meet anticipated peak demand for the regions 65 million consumers. Due to predicted above-average temperatures, PJM has enhanced the reliability of the power supply by holding generators to stricter standards and increasing its reserve margin to 29 percent, 13.6 percent higher than required.
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