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Electric Reliability Update - August 16, 2017

FERC

FERC Quorum Restored - August 10 - The Senate confirmed Neil Chatterjee and Robert F. Powelson as FERC Commissioners on August 4.  President Trump named Chatterjee as Chairman, and with the swearing in of Chatterjee on August 8 and Powelson on August 10, FERC’s quorum has been restored.

NERC

NERC Board Approves Business Plan and Budget at Quarterly Meeting - August 10 - At its quarterly meeting, the NERC Board of Trustees approved NERC’s 2018 Business Plan and Budget, which includes funding that, supports the long-term strategy for the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center.  

NERC Board Standards Actions – August 10 – The NERC Board of Trustees:

 Adopted one new standard: 

  • CIP-013-1, Supply Chain Risk Management, which requires entities to assess the security risks of vendor products and services when planning and procuring.

Modified three existing standards:

  • CIP-005-6, Cyber Security, Electronic Security Perimeter modified to address vendor-initiated remote access.

  • CIP-010-3, Cyber Security, Configuration Change Management and Vulnerability Assessments which was modified to address software integrity and authenticity.

  • PRC-006-3, Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding, which defines a more accurate generation deficiency scenario applicable to the Québec Interconnection and serves to prevent unnecessary load shed.

Modified two regional standards:

  • PRC-006-SERC-02, Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding Requirements, which allows implementation time to change peak season.

  • BAL-502-RF-03, Planning Resource Adequacy Analysis, Assessment and Documentation, which adds time horizons to requirements and requires Planning Coordinator to identify gaps between needed and projected planning reserves.

Made miscellaneous changes to three other standards:

  • BAL-002-2(i), Disturbance Control Standard, which changed R1 and R2 Violation Risk Factors from “medium” to “high."

  • VAR-001-4.1, Voltage and Reactive Control, which made errata changes.

  • VAR-002-4, Generator Operation for Maintaining Network Voltage Schedules, which made errata changes.

NERC Issues White Paper on Impact of August 21 Solar Eclipse on BPS - August 7 - NERC issued a white paper entitled “A Wide-Area Perspective on the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse,” in which NERC concludes that the upcoming August 21 solar eclipse is unlikely to cause impacts to bulk power system operations. However, the white paper notes that specific states with large amount of photovoltaic resources are expected to experience an increase in load and possible ramping and balancing concerns.

NERC Penalty Activity - July 31 - NERC filed with FERC a spreadsheet notice of penalty resolving 14 violations of 8 Reliability Standards totaling $250,000 in penalties.

Cybersecurity

E-ISAC Releases Report on Ukrainian Cyberattack - August 2 - The Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) released a report, TLP:White – ICS Defense Use Case No. 6: Modular ICS Malware,  analyzing the malware reportedly used in the December 2016 Ukrainian power system attack.  The report, quotes NERC Chief Security Officer Marcus H. Sachs as saying “The importance of this Defense Use Case cannot be overstated – the malware discussed in this report is available to one or more threat actors that have demonstrated intent to disrupt electric grid operations.”

© 2017 Van Ness Feldman LLP

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About this Author

Malcolm C. McLellan, Electric Energy and Regulated Business Attorney, Van Ness Feldman, Seattle Law Firm
Partner

Malcolm’s practice focuses on the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy and regulated businesses. Malcolm has an intricate knowledge of the technical, legal, and business considerations facing electric utilities.  He regularly advises on Open Access Transmission Tariff and business practice compliance issues, reliability standards, standards of conduct, market behavior rules, interlocking director rules, electronic quarterly reporting, and accounting rules. He has significant experience with developing comprehensive energy compliance programs;...

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Suzanne McBride, Van Ness Feldman Law Firm, Energy and Gas Attorney
Of Counsel

Suzanne McBride focuses her practice on the representation of electric and natural gas utilities and oil pipeline companies on a wide range of regulatory matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and U.S. Courts of Appeal. She counsels various clients on rate development, contract and tariff provisions, regulatory compliance and investigation defense, administrative litigation, and transactional matters. She also advises on compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and regional reliability standards, including self-reports, spot checks, formal audits and enforcement actions involving NERC and FERC’s Office of Enforcement.

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Darshana Singh, Energy Regulatory Law Clerk, Van Ness Feldman, D.C. Law firm
Law Clerk

Darsh Singh assists clients and firm professionals in the energy regulatory arena. Prior to joining Van Ness Feldman, Darsh served as a law clerk in the Office of Administrative Litigation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and interned at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).   While at FERC, Darsh assisted Trial Staff in natural gas and oil pipeline rate proceedings and conducted research on market-based rates.   During her time at the FTC, Darsh focused on complex antitrust and consumer protection issues. 

While at The George...

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