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Board Approves ERO Enterprise Long-Term Strategy; Accepts Special Assessment; Requests RISC Review of Resilience

NEW ORLEANS, – The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s last Board of Trustees meeting of 2017 was held Thursday in New Orleans. Welcoming remarks were made by Leo Denault, chairman and chief executive officer of Entergy Corporation, who highlighted the importance of the work industry does assuring reliability; and Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who focused on resilience, urging the Electric Reliability Organization to continue its work based on data and facts. Other remarks were also provided by Travis Fisher, special advisor, Department of Energy; Asim Haque, chairman and CEO, Public Utilities Commission-Ohio; and Murray Doehler, past chair, CAMPUT.
Board Chair Roy Thilly discussed resilience, noting a strong consensus that it is already built into NERC’s efforts. However, he added, there is a need to look at the various components of resilience and build upon them. With that, the Board requested the Reliability Issues Steering Committee (RISC) to review how NERC’s mission currently incorporates resilience of the bulk power system, consider working definitions of resilience and develop a framework for further discussion at the February Board meeting.
Gerry Cauley, president and CEO, reminded attendees in his remarks that the day marked the 52nd anniversary of the 1965 blackout that left more than 30 million people without power for up to 13 hours.“The 1965 event set the stage for who we are today,” Cauley stated. “Our job as the ERO is to identify existing and emerging risks and work with industry and policymakers to address them. We have done this on a variety of topics, including human error, equipment misoperations and the rapid change of the bulk power system.”
In Board action, the Board approved the 2018–2020 Reliability Standards Development Plan; the ERO Enterprise Long-Term Strategy; and the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program technology project.

  • The 2018–2020 Reliability Standards Development Plan focuses on periodic reviews, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission directives, emerging risks, Standard Authorization Requests and the standards grading initiative.
  • The ERO Enterprise Long-Term Strategy in 2017 looks ahead five-to-seven years to examine how changes in the industry will affect the ERO Enterprise now and in the future. The strategy highlights emerging and potential reliability impacts and incorporates recommendations from the Reliability Issues Steering Committee’s draft report. The ERO Executive Management Group, which is comprised of the CEOs from NERC and the Regions, has undertaken strategic and operational planning as an enterprise to guide coordinated operations and resource budgeting.
  • The Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program Technology project is a suite of tools to integrate and share data. The project will better align the business processes of the ERO Enterprise by improving documentation, sharing and analysis of compliance work activities and by making CMEP activities more efficient and effective across the ERO Enterprise.

In other action, the Board adopted Reliability Standard TPL-007-2 – Geomagnetic Disturbance Mitigation, which establishes requirements for performing GMD vulnerability assessments using a modified GMD event. It also modifies established requirements pertaining to transformer thermal impact assessments, requires the collection of GMD-related data and deadlines for Corrective Action Plans and GMD mitigation actions.
The Board also accepted NERC’s Special Assessment: Potential Bulk Power System Impacts Due to Severe Disruptions on the Natural Gas System, which analyzed potential reliability impacts of natural gas disruptions. The growth of natural gas, wind and solar resources and the growing interdependence of the natural gas and electric infrastructure have resulted in new operational and planning reliability challenges. The assessment, which will be released next week, found that the impacts from natural gas facility disruptions vary depending on the location and infrastructure density and that mitigation strategies can reduce potential impacts.
Attendees were encouraged to participate in NERC’s grid security exercise – GridEx, which takes place November 15–16. Board presentations may be found by clicking here. The next Board of Trustees meeting is February 8 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.


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