By Shaun Rohret, Senior NERC Reliability Specialist
It looks like a new NERC Cold Weather standard may be on its way. Here is some background and a summary of the latest information provided by NERC:
In July of 2019, the FERC and NERC staff report titled The South-Central United States Cold Weather Bulk Electronic System Event of January 17, 2018 was released. Following the report, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. submitted a Standard Authorization Request (SAR) proposing a new standard development project be initiated to review and address the recommendations provided from the FERC and NERC staff report. The stated industry need for this SAR is to enhance the reliability of the BES during cold weather events by ensuring Generator Owners, Generator Operators, Reliability Coordinators, and Balancing Authorities prepare for extreme cold weather conditions.
A SAR was created, and comments were accepted until May of 2020. Drafting Team Nominations were accepted from June 2020 until July of 2020 and a Standards Drafting Team was formed. The Standards Drafting Team will review the current mandatory Operating and Planning Reliability Standards to address the recommendations from the FERC and NERC staff report.
The deliverable will be new or revised Reliability Standards, as appropriate, to promote reliability of the BES during cold weather and to ensure that cold weather performance plans for BES generating units are developed, implemented, and communicated in order to maintain BES generating unit availability within performance capabilities or operating limitations.
The Drafting Team met July 14-16, 2020 to review SAR comments received. The team modified the SAR to address some industry comments that justification may be available (gas curtailments) and remained focused on the FERC/NERC report as the central point for the SAR. The team voted to move the SAR forward to the Standards Committee for acceptance during its September 24, 2020 meeting. Should the current SAR Drafting Team be approved as the Cold Weather standards drafting team, a series of meetings have been scheduled for October and November of 2020