Electric Reliability Update - May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017

FERC

FERC Approves Reliability Standards IRO-002-5 and TOP-001-4 - April 17 - FERC issued a letter order approving proposed Reliability Standards IRO-002-5 (Reliability Coordination - Monitoring and Analysis) and TOP-001-4 (Transmission Operations). The Reliability Standards, which NERC submitted to FERC for approval on March 6, 2017, address FERC’s directives in Order No. 817 related to: (1) transmission operator monitoring of non-bulk electric system facilities; (2) redundancy and diverse routing of transmission operator, balancing authority, and reliability coordinator data exchange capabilities; and (3) testing of alternative or less frequently used data exchange capabilities.

Congress

Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Legislation Introduced - April 6 – The Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017 was introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 6. The bill acknowledges the December 23, 2015 cyberattack on the Ukrainian power grid, and would (i) reaffirm commitment of the United States to its bilateral relationship with Ukraine, (ii) state that it is the sense of Congress that the State Department should provide Ukraine with cybersecurity support for government and critical infrastructure systems, and (iii) require the State Department to submit a report to Congress within 180 days on the status of the United States cybersecurity cooperation with Ukraine. 

Other Developments

Department of Energy (DOE) Holds Peer Review of Grid Modernization Initiative - April 26 - On April 18-21, DOE held a peer review of its Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) in Arlington, Virginia. The event, which involved sixteen outside experts, involved a review of the portfolio of over eighty projects of the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC), a key component of DOE’s GMI, and lessons learned and best practices drawn from the GMLC projects. Stakeholders from state and local government, utilities, and industry also participated in the event. 

DOE Submits Strategic Transformer Reserve Report to Congress - March – DOE submitted a Strategic Transformer Reserve report to Congress pursuant to the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which required DOE to submit to Congress a plan to establish a strategic transformer reserve for the storage of spare large power transformers and emergency mobile substations.  In the report, DOE evaluated options for establishing a strategic transformer reserve and recommended encouraging and supporting an industry-based option driven by voluntary industry actions and NERC reliability standards.  DOE also recommended that it reassess after a year whether sufficient progress has been made under an industry-based approach within a year to warrant continuation or alternative governmental action.  

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