Regulatory Update   |   Dec 17th, 2018 NERC Issues 2018 Resilience Report

Nerc Update 2018 Resilience Report Image 1

On November 8, 2018 NERC’s Board of Trustees accepted the NERC Reliability Issues Steering Committee (RISC) Report on Resilience. The report analyzes the meaning and importance of resilience in the changing power system business environment, examines how resilience fits within NERC’s standard development process and proposes a framework to guide its ongoing work in this area. 

The RISC’s Resilience Framework considers four outcome-based goals:  

  • Robustness – the ability to absorb shocks and continue operating
  • Resourcefulness – the ability to detect and manage a crisis as it unfolds
  • Rapid recovery – the ability to get services back as quickly as possible in a coordinated and controlled manner and taking into consideration the extent of the damage
  • Adaptability – the ability to incorporate lessons learned from past events to improve resilience

The RISC adopted the following model that accounts for the “reliable operations of the Bulk Power System” and incorporates concepts to address recovery from system disturbances.

Source: 2018 NERC Resilience Report

Key Observations on Resilience

The main findings of NERC’s Report include: 

1. Resilience has consistently been, and should continue to be, a central component of NERC’s mission to “assure the effective and efficient reduction of risks to the reliability and security of the grid;”

2. The National Infrastructure Advisory Council Framework for establishing Critical Infrastructure Goals serves as an appropriate framework for resilience as refined by the RISC and further informed by NERC’s FERC-filed definition of what constitutes the Adequate Level of Reliability of the Bulk Electric System (BPS);

3. NERC currently engages in a broad array of activities in support of resilience, as demonstrated by the RISC Resilience Framework’s mapping of NERC activities to aspects of resilience, and as called for in NERC’s Reliability Standards; 

4. NERC should continue pursuing activities to further support a resilient and reliable BPS;

5. NERC, in conjunction with industry stakeholders, should expand reliability assessment activities to support the development of a model or metrics that measure the resilience and energy security of the BPS; 

6. NERC standing committees should develop additional guidance for the achievement of both resilience and energy security, focusing on flexible design approaches and timely recovery processes for differing threats; and 

7. NERC should continue to work with the North American Generator Forum, North American Transmission Forum, the Electric Power Research Institute, and other industry partners to facilitate sharing of industry practices and experiences related to addressing resilience issues as well as performing needed research and development activities.

Next Steps

Utilities should review the 2018 NERC Resilience Report to better understand where NERC is planning to take the industry as it adds resilience considerations to its goals. The key driver for change is the resource mix risk profile and NERC is already taking steps to address the changes needed in the power system planning environment. TRC recognizes that most utilities will have limited technical resources in certain areas of their planning and design operations. Our experts can supplement your existing programs and any new internal initiatives needed to help you proactively respond to the reliability and resilience risks NERC identifies.


This regulatory update is a service to our utility clients, helping keep you informed of issues that impact your company’s electric system reliability and resilience risks along with related topics regarding future regulatory developments to help you achieve your company’s business goals.