By Beth Davis, NERC Project Coordinator
The past year has caused companies to be creative in executing their business obligations due to quarantine rules and travel restrictions. NERC and the six Regional Entities have adapted by performing virtual audit and spot checks. They have also embraced webinars where they previously held in person gatherings. The virtual experiences lack the full benefits of face to face interaction, but they have done a good job of keeping us informed during the COVID-19 quarantine.
NERC has launched a new quarterly compliance podcast called “Currently Compliant” hosted by ERO Enterprise subject matter experts (SMEs). “Currently Compliant” is intended to be a quick way to bring attention to frequently asked questions on which the SMEs have some clear insights to share. While there are multiple places to look for compliance material, “Currently Compliant” hopes to be viewed like a Q&A session after a workshop or catching up with the experts over an appetizer and beverage at a reception – minus the appetizer and beverage. The inaugural episode focused on PRC-019-2 R1.
The WECC Compliance Open Webinar is offered regularly to provide an open forum for addressing topics and questions relevant to a majority of compliance users in the Western Interconnection. The Compliance Open Webinar is held the third Thursday of every month. Pacific; details are located at www.wecc.biz. Their March discussion focused on NERC Evidence Request Tool and provided concise detailed directions regarding responses to CIP requests.
ReliabilityFirst has developed a series called Technical Talk with RF to provide entities and stakeholders with a forum for addressing topics and questions relevant to reliability, resilience and security. These calls are typically held monthly on the third Monday. While RF subject matter experts (SMEs) will provide presentations and updates, they will not address entity-specific questions and issues. Recent topics have included Align Updates, Cyber Planning for Response and Recovery Study (CYPRES), and Virtualization Updates to NERC Cyber-security Standards.
Texas RE has created a similar series called “Talk with Texas RE” and their schedule for the second quarter includes topics such as Three Practical Strategies for Improving Safety, Reliability, and Human Performance, Registration and Certification Updates, and FERC and Align Updates.
SERC’s “Outreach and Training” site offers several tools designed to strengthen Registered Entities’ knowledge, awareness, and programs.
The WICF (Western Interconnection Compliance Forum) Generation Focus Group holds their meeting monthly on the third Tuesday at 1:00 P.M. Pacific; details for this are located at www.wicf.biz. WICF is a volunteer organization made up of registered entities and the meetings are closed to regulatory staff for a candid sharing of compliance experiences and best practices. The intent of the group is to facilitate knowledge, sharing of lessons learned regarding compliance matters, and ideas relating to Generation to promote best practices that help ensure the reliable and secure operation of the Bulk Electric System/Bulk Power System.