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Electric Reliability Update - November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016


FERC Accepts Revised Communications Standard - October 28 - FERC issued a letter order accepting Reliability Standard COM-001-3 (Communications), which revises Reliability Standard COM-001-2.1 by adding new requirements addressing  the adequacy of internal communications capability when internal communications could affect the operation of the Bulk-Power System.  The letter order also approved the associated implementation plan, and the retirement of Reliability Standard COM-001-2.1.

FERC Accepts NERC Revisions to Rules of Procedure - November 4 - On August 15th, NERC submitted proposed revisions to Appendixes 2, 5A and 5B of the NERC Rules of Procedure. The revisions incorporate the terms "Frequency Response Sharing Group" and "Regulation Reserve Sharing Group" into the Rules of Procedure with the intention of making them consistent with the terms defined in NERC Reliability Standards and the NERC Glossary. In a letter order, FERC accepted NERC's uncontested filing. 


NERC and WECC Submit Petition for Approval of Interpretation of BAL-002-WECC-2 - November 9 – NERC and WECC submitted a joint petition to FERC seeking approval of a proposed interpretation of regional Reliability Standard BAL-002-WECC-2 (Contingency Reserve).  The joint petition proposes to clarify that certain technologies, both contemplated and not yet contemplated, may be used as potential resources to meet the Operating Reserve-Spinning requirement, so long as the resource can meet the response characteristics described in the standard.

NERC Submits Compliance Filing Proposing Revisions to IRO-018-1/ TOP-010-1 Violation Risk Factors - November 7 - NERC submitted to FERC a compliance filing proposing revisions to the Violation Risk Factors (VRF) for Requirement R1 of Reliability Standard IRO-018-1 (Reliability Coordinator Real-time Reliability Monitoring and Analysis Capabilities) and Requirements R1 and R2 of Reliability Standard TOP-010-1 (Real-time Reliability Monitoring and Analysis Capabilities).  FERC approved the Reliability Standards on September 22, 2016, but directed NERC to revise the VRF designations for each of these Requirements from “medium" to "high".

October Penalty Activity - CIP and IRO Standards - October 31 - NERC filed with FERC three separately-docketed penalty proceedings in the WECC region.  Docket Nos. NP17-2 and NP17-3 involved CIP standards with penalties totaling $1,275,000.  Docket No. N17-1 involves IRO-002-2 with a penalty of $86,000.

Lauby Speaks on International Planning Practices - October 27 - NERC Senior Vice President and Chief Reliability Officer Mark Lauby served as a moderator and technical expert on a panel in Panama City, Panama discussing the integration of renewables in Central America.  The panel focused on planning the operability of a power system with high amounts of variable energy resources and the significant changes required to ensure reliability while integrating new resources.    

NERC President Participates in Cross-Border Electricity Discussion at Canadian Embassy - October 25 - NERC President Gerry Cauley participated in a panel discussion sponsored by the Canadian Electricity Association on Canadian electricity and its contributions to North American climate goals, grid resiliency and reliability.

Cybersecurity and Grid Security

E-ISAC Publishes Internet of Things Distributed Denial of Service White Paper - October 24 - The Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) published a White Paper that addresses recent cyber attacks that exploited internet-enabled consumer products with custom attack software. The White Paper lays out recommendations for defensive capabilities in the Electricity SubSector and suggests ways improve the overall posture of network security and cyber security.

Other Developments

DOE, Idaho National Lab Partner on Critical Infrastructure Testing - November 2 - The Idaho National Laboratory (INL)  will enhance  its Critical Infrastructure Test Range Complex , which is a dedicated section of INL distribution lines providing a realistic testing environment for ideas, devices and systems related to the adoption of a smart grid that uses predominantly digital technology.  The effort is part of a larger initiative by DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) to enhance the places where advanced smart grid technologies can be tested at scale without risk to actual customers.


The Van Ness Feldman Electric Reliability Update is published by Malcolm McLellan, 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.  Follow us on Twitter @VNFELECTRIC.


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