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Regulatory Update   |   Feb 22nd, 2018 NERC Identifies Reliability Risk Priorities & Moves Forward to Address Resilience

Power Transmission Reliability

On February 8, 2018 the NERC Board of Trustees approved the 2018 ERO Reliability Risk Priorities Report which recommends approaches to enhance reliability and manage identified risks to the reliable delivery of electricity. The Board also approved moving ahead with a framework to address power system resilience throughout NERC definitions, mandatory standards and guidelines.

As a result of these efforts, there may be new avenues for NERC to implement additional guidelines and standards. It is important to be aware of ongoing developments and be prepared for any possible changes to your company’s compliance and asset management program which might be required.

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NERC has identified the following key emerging risks to reliability: 

  • A changing resource mix
  • Increasing complexity in protection and control systems
  • Human performance and skilled workforce
  • Cybersecuirty vulnerabilities

NERC's Reliability Report also raises the question of how to define resilience. Resilience and recovery actions can mitigate exposure from multiple reliability risks. This is particularly important as threats to electric industry infrastructure from cyber and physical attacks are expected to increase, and customers and regulators have increasing expectations on the continuity of electric service. The report notes that resources expended on resilience and recovery can address a wide range of reliability risks and can also limit the extent of extreme or low-likelihood incidents. Resilience assessments in planning and operating processes should be pursued to support reliability.

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