Today, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will hold a Technical Conference to discuss policy issues related to the reliability of the Bulk-Power System from 10 a.m. –  4 p.m. The Commission will also accept written comments regarding the matters discussed at the technical conference. The Commission states that written comments regarding the matters discussed at the conference should be submitted in Docket No. AD15-7-000 on or before July 9, 2015. There will be three informative panels:

Panel I:  2015 State of Reliability Report

This panel will address the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) recently released 2015 State of Reliability report. Here are a few of the questions panelists will address:

  • What does the 2015 report show about the effectiveness of NERC’s reliability activities and related industry efforts? 
  • What progress has been made with respect to the recommendations in the 2014 report and what are the obstacles to continued progress? 
  • What priorities have been identified in the 2015 State of Reliability report and how are these different from the 2014 report? 
  • Does the 2015 report indicate that more resources should be directed to particular reliability risks or areas?  
  • Are there other significant issues that require analysis or changes in the planning and operation of the bulk power system during the next 1-5 years?

Panel II: Emerging Issues

This panel will tackle emerging issues such as changes to our nation’s fuel sources and power supply portfolio, federal and state policies on renewable and other resources, and new environmental regulations. Here is a sampling of the questions panel II will address:

  • What emerging issues are going to challenge NERC and industry? How are these issues being considered in long-term, seasonal and operational planning studies?  
  • What progress has been made by NERC’s Essential Reliability Services Task Force in developing new approaches to the “reliability building blocks” (voltage support, ramping capability, and frequency support) needed for reliability and for ensuring their provision as the resource mix changes? 
  • Are any changes in reliability standards or other regulatory requirements needed or appropriate?  
  • Are additional efforts needed to maintain reliability as the growth of natural gas-fired generation continues? What specific additional improvements still need to be made? 

Panel III: ERO Performance and Initiatives 

NERC identifies various evolving issues that face the bulk power system and develops initiatives to address those issues. Some of the issues Panel III will address include: 

  • Explain the feedback loop from event analysis and compliance monitoring and enforcement to standards development. 
  • What are some examples of how Standards were modified or developed as a result of bulk-power system events?
  • What are the initial results of the risk-based Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program? 
  • What specific improvements to reliability performance, reduction to reliability risks, and increased compliance efficiencies are NERC and the industry experiencing as a result of this initiative?

The conference will be held at:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Commission Meeting Room
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426 

If you can’t get to D.C. today, a free webcast of this event is also available through www.ferc.gov.  A link is posted on the Technical Conference Event page. There you can also find panelists statements and the full agenda.