Compliant and Confident: Understanding NERC Regulation Standards

In the electric utility industry, it is becoming increasingly important to maintain a high level of vigilance over the secure operations of entities responsible for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power. Due to both internal and external hazards and threats to the bulk power system (BPS), ensuring the security and reliability of energy for businesses and household consumers is a serious challenge. If you are professionally involved in any facet of the power utility industry, you already understand that this is not just a matter of safe and stable operations; it is also an issue of efficiency, compliance, and your company’s bottom line.

In the past few years, several updates to standards proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), have been adopted and regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). These NERC regulation standards are changed from time to time in order to reflect and respond to the needs and responsibilities of the various entities in the bulk electric system, especially as technologies change along with their physical and social environments. As the Security and Reliability Standards evolve, it is important for you and your company to evolve, as well.

NERC Regulation Standards: An Overview

NERC exists primarily to determine the safest and best practices for power utility companies throughout the North American continent. Through their comprehensive research and collaboration with various industrial and regulatory entities, NERC produces exhaustive recommendations for the regulations by which all entities along the interchange must comply.

FERC is a United States government agency, which is tasked with regulating fossil-based and electric utility operations and transactions taking place between states. Along with the responsibility to oversee wholesale and corporate activities regarding transmission and distribution of power, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has the authority to enforce NERC regulations through a variety of means, including fines of several million dollars per violation.

The following categories of NERC reliability standards are crucial for your company to follow in order to maintain compliance and avoid losses due to penalties and inefficiencies:shutterstock_149841719

  • BAL: Resource and Demand Balancing

  • COM: Communications

  • CIP: Critical Infrastructure Protection

  • EOP: Emergency Preparedness and Operations

  • FAC: Facilities Design, Connections, and Maintenance

  • INT: Interchange Scheduling and Coordination

  • IRO: Interconnection Reliability Operations and Coordination

  • MOD: Modeling, Data, and Analysis

  • NUC: Nuclear

  • PER: Personnel Performance, Training, and Qualifications

  • PRC: Protection and Control

  • TOP: Transmission Operations

  • TPL: Transmission Planning

  • VAR: Voltage and Reactive

Achieving and Maintaining NERC Compliance

As you navigate these complex standards in preparation for your next NERC audit, you may find that your Internal Compliance Program is not properly equipped to deal with all of the real-time data tracking and incident reporting that is needed to sustain a secure, reliable infrastructure. If you do not already have a powerful software program in place to help keep your company compliant with NERC regulation standards, consider what Versify’s Portal Compliance software can do for you.

Versify Solutions offers several software products to serve electric utility companies in their quest for maximum efficiency and regulatory compliance. If you want to maximize profits and provide a more secure, reliable energy service, contact Versify now to arrange a full capabilities demonstration.