Spotlight Articles

Spotlight on NERC Informational Filing – BAL-003-1.1 Implementation

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight evaluates NERC’s informational filing addressing the technical and logistical proficiency of BAL-003-1.1’s frequency response methodology in Year 1 of actual practice. The report concludes that the implementation of BAL-003-1.1 is proceeding as expected and recommends that FERC stay the course as originally conceived

A Standards Authorization Request to move ahead with a development effort addressing deficiencies in BAL-003-1.1 was approved by the Standards Committee in April. A drafting team for Project 2017-01 has been convened and is working on the updates.

Spotlight on NERC’s 2018 Report on the State of Reliability

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight looks at NERC’s 2018 Reliability Report, their most recent evaluation of North America’s Bulk Power System’s resilience, security, frequency response, and exposure to reliability threats. The report concludes that 2017 was “adequate” despite the record setting wind and water damage caused by two Category 5 events: Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida.

Look for NERC to continue to focus on training and awareness-based solutions to reliability threats. Over the longer term, industry stakeholders should look to employ technological advancements (like drones) to permanently eliminate the most persistent issues.

Spotlight on NERC Lessons Learned – Situational Awareness Impairments

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight examines three “teachable moments” where a latent failure mechanism in a situational awareness system manifested itself unexpectedly and resulted in a threat to Bulk Electric System reliability. The Lessons Learned look at actual events that help the industry understand the effect that subsystem defects may have on Real-time situational awareness, even if the EMS and SCADA are functioning perfectly.

The loss of situational awareness for any reason is one of NERC’s top reliability concerns. Severe penalties may be levied if an electric system outage occurs, and it is found that an Operator did not act upon these Lessons Learned.

Spotlight on FERC’s Approval of Two WECC Regional Standards

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight looks at FERC Dockets RD18-2-000 and RD18-5-000, which accept two updated WECC Regional Standards. BAL-004-WECC-3 sets the reliability criteria for Time Error Corrections and Primary Inadvertent Interchange payback in the WECC Interconnection. FAC-501-WECC-2 requires the Transmission Owners for Major WECC Transfer Paths to develop and execute a Transmission Maintenance and Inspection Plan.

The two WECC Regional Standards are only effective in the West, but they drive universally sensible reliability practices. Inadvertent Interchange is of particular concern to FERC and is an operating parameter which all Balancing Authorities should carefully control.

Spotlight on the ERO Enterprise’s First Quarter Compliance and Enforcement Status Report

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight evaluates the latest report from the ERO Enterprise providing Compliance/Enforcement performance statistics and information. The report highlights key activities that took place during the quarter related to efficiency improvements, program tuning, and further focus on the risk-based assessment process.

The ERO Enterprise’s First Quarter Compliance and Enforcement status report indicates that the programs are under control. This could change as complex cyber security, relay coordination, and geomagnetic disturbance requirements begin to take effect in 2018/19.

Spotlight on FERC Order 847 Approving PRC-027-1 and PER-006-1

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight examines FERC Order 847, which announces the Commission’s approval to replace the System Protection Coordination standard (PRC-001-1.1(ii)) with two other standards. PER-006-1 establishes the criteria for Generator Operator training on Composite Protection Systems and Remedial Action Schemes. PRC-027-1 addresses the coordination of BES Protection Systems between interconnected relay owners in the planning time horizon.

PER-006-1, PRC-027-1 and the new definitions of “Protection System Coordination Study”, Operational Planning Analysis” and “Real‐time Assessment” will take effect in the U.S. on 10/1/2020. PRC-001-1.1(ii) will be retired immediately prior to the in-effect date of the new standards.

Spotlight on the SAR for NERC’s Standards Efficiency Initiative

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight examines the Standards Authorization Request (SAR) for the Standards Efficiency Initiative. The project objective is to identify unproductive, burdensome, and/or overly complex reliability requirements that can be retired from the NERC standards framework. The SAR lists over a 100 candidates derived from industry stakeholder responses to a survey initiated last December

The initial Standards Authorization Request for NERC’s Standards Efficiency Initiative has been posted on the NERC website for a 30-day review period. Comments must be returned to the SAR drafting team by July 10, 2018.

Spotlight on NERC’s 2018 Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program Version 2.1

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight looks at NERC’s latest 2018 Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program (CMEP). Version 2.1 modifies the SPP’s Region-specific implementation plan to account for the recent dissolution of their Regional Entity Delegation Agreement with NERC. In addition, MISO and ReliabiltyFirst have reduced their commitments to conduct guided Self-Certifications in 2018 – perhaps experiencing growing pains in executing the new process.

NERC’s 2018 Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Plan Version 2.1 does not affect the existing Risk Elements, RE Implementation Plans, or audit schedules. The Risk-based approach appears to be fully ingrained in the process and should continue for years to come.

Spotlight on NERC’s 2018 Summer Reliability Assessment

Today’s LiveWire Spotlight evaluates NERC’s 2018 Summer Assessment, which forecasts BES reliability and adequacy performance over the next three months. The primary topics covered include Anticipated Reserve Margin, ISO-New England’s Pay-for-Performance program, and concerns that electricity service in ERCOT, MISO, and CAISO could be at risk during the summer.

The evolution of eco-friendly generation, high-speed Transmission, and sophisticated balancing technologies has introduced a series of new BES reliability challenges. NERC is addressing them as they arise and will continue to do so until the transition stabilizes.

Spotlight on a Draft NERC Guideline – Inverter-Based Resource Performance

LiveWire Spotlight on a Draft NERC Guideline – Inverter-Based Resource Performance Today’s LiveWire Spotlight examines a draft NERC Reliability Guideline advising inverter-based (renewable) resource owners and operators on how they can best assure the delivery of Essential Reliability Services to the BPS. Among the topics discussed are momentary cessation, active power frequency control, voltage/reactive power control hierarchy, and the relay functions best suited to prevent equipment damage at a renewable plant.

The initial draft of NERC’s Reliability Guideline on BPS-Connected Inverter-Based Resource Performance has been posted for a 45-day review. Comments must be returned to reliabilityguidelinecomments@nerc.net by June 29, 2018.

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