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You can browse all of our publications on this page: Spotlight Articles, Quarterly Reports, and Spark Alerts.

Spotlight on Two New Proposed NERC Compliance Guidelines

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 in All Products, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on Two New Proposed NERC Compliance Guidelines

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight examines two new proposed reference documents outlining approaches to best assure a compliant reliability program. They look to establish a common continent-wide understanding of NERC’s expectations of electric system monitoring and supply chain securitization.

NERC’s Compliance Certification Committee is presently reviewing both proposed Compliance Guidelines.  They will send out a follow-up announcement after the materials have been officially endorsed or rejected.

Spotlight on NERC’s 2017 Summer Reliability Assessment

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in All Products, Articles, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on NERC’s 2017 Summer Reliability Assessment

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight looks at the latest seasonal assessment issued by NERC’s Reliability Assessment Subcommittee addressing BES reliability and adequacy.  The Subcommittee found that that adequate resources exist in the North American electric system to meet expected demand, although there are predominate sector-specific challenges in New England and Southern California.

The transition to automation and green technologies has introduced a whole host of new challenges for electric system operators.  Many were anticipated by NERC, but there may be unforeseen issues that will require a regulatory response.

Spotlight on NERC Lessons Learned – Loss of Control Center Support Systems

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in All Products, Articles, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on NERC Lessons Learned – Loss of Control Center Support Systems

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight examines three new Lessons Learned – “teachable moments” where the loss of a Control Center’s support systems threatened Bulk Electric System reliability.  In them, NERC assesses actual incidents that help the industry understand the effect that small defects in a Control Center’s support infrastructure may have on Real-time operations.

The loss of situational awareness at a Control Center is one of NERC’s top reliability concerns.  Severe penalties may be levied if an electric system outage occurs because a Control Center Owner/Operator did not act upon these Lessons Learned.

Spotlight on the Latest Guideline Endorsements by the ERO Enterprise

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in All Products, Articles, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on the Latest Guideline Endorsements by the ERO Enterprise

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight looks at two documents added to the NERC web page that were developed to help entities understand the rationale underlying CIP-014-1 and FAC-008-3.  Two others related to TPL-001-4 and Transient Voltage Criteria were not sanctioned by the ERO.

As of May 8, 2017, The ERO Enterprise Compliance organization has officially endorsed sixteen guidelines.  Six more are under review – addressing some of the most complex NERC standards.

Spotlight on Senate Testimony on Electric Security System Threats

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in All Products, Articles, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on Senate Testimony on Electric Security System Threats

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight looks at the Senate testimony submitted by six governmental and industry leaders to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on April 4.  It summarizes the perspective of scientists, regulators, military leaders, and industry executives on key electric system vulnerabilities: cyber security, electromagnetic disturbances, and gas/electric system interoperability.

The threat of a successful cyber-attack that debilitates the North American energy infrastructure still weighs heavily on the U.S. Senate.  Recent legislation on the topic has only just begun to engage, but no doubt, there will be more to come.

Spotlight on The Second Posting of the Cyber Security Supply Chain Standards

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in All Products, Articles, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on The Second Posting of the Cyber Security Supply Chain Standards

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight evaluates the second iteration of the NERC standards designed to limit the risk of cyber-attacks arising from the electric system supply chain.  The project team has extensively rearranged the requirements and sub-requirements from the original drafts in response to stakeholder feedback.

The latest versions of CIP-005-6, CIP-010-3, and CIP-013-1 and their supporting documents have been posted for a 45-day review and concurrent ballot.  Clients have until June 15, 2017 to provide comments back to the drafting team.

Spotlight on NERC’s White Paper on the August Solar Eclipse

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in All Products, Articles, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on NERC’s White Paper on the August Solar Eclipse

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight examines a NERC White Paper which forecasts the potential impact of the August 21 solar eclipse crossing the continental U.S. on Bulk Electric System generation capacity.  The analysis finds that Utah, California, and North Carolina will be most affected by the eclipse, losing between 13% and 24% of total capacity.

Although the August solar eclipse is not expected to have a major impact on the BES, the risk will increase as solar generation becomes a greater part of the capacity mix. Another total eclipse will occur in 2024 – which will be a greater concern.

Spotlight on Dynamic Tags and Pseudo-Tie Reference Documents

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in All Products, Articles, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on Dynamic Tags and Pseudo-Tie Reference Documents

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight looks at two new reference documents issued by NERC concerning Dynamic Tags and Pseudo-Ties. The guidelines provide instruction to Market and Operations Entities concerning the management of complex Interchange through two commonly-used virtual mechanisms.

For now, NERC is satisfied that reference documents are sufficient to address gaps in the management of Dynamic Schedule tag exclusions and the installation of Pseudo-Ties. This could change if the use of these technologies continues to grow.

 

Spotlight on TPL-001-5 – Single Points of Failure

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in All Products, Articles, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on TPL-001-5 – Single Points of Failure

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight examines TPL-001-5 – the initial posting of the updated Transmission Planning Performance Standard addressing Protection System single points of failure as directed by FERC in Order 754. The draft standard also incorporates two directives issued by FERC in Order 786 related to short-duration planned outages and the unavailability of long lead-time equipment.

The initial draft of TPL-001-5 and its supporting materials have been posted on the NERC website for a 30-day informal review period. Comments must be returned to the project team by May 24, 2017.

Spotlight on NERC's Assessment of Control Center Backup Power Supplies

Posted by on May 9, 2017 in All Products, Articles, Spotlight Articles | Comments Off on Spotlight on NERC's Assessment of Control Center Backup Power Supplies

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight looks at a recent assessment performed by NERC in response to FERC’s request for more information concerning one of the updates proposed in NERC Project 2010-14.2.1 to BAL-005. It provides background supporting the removal of R15, which requires Balancing Authorities to periodically test the backup power supplies at Control Centers.

Over the next few months, FERC will evaluate the assessment and make a final determination concerning BAL-005-1 requirement R15. Once their final Order is released, the updates (and retirement) will take effect a year later.