Regulatory Update   |   Jan 3rd, 2017 Regulatory Update: PRC-005-6 Implementation Plan: Revisions to Utility Protection System Maintenance Plans were Mandatory by January 1, 2017

NERC Compliance Support

As a reminder for TRC clients, the implementation plan for the currently effective PRC-005-6 standard on protection system maintenance has new obligations which commenced January 1, 2017. The addition of Automatic Reclosing and Sudden Pressure Relaying will necessitate that utilities amend their protection system maintenance programs in accordance with R1 of the standard.

The standard which along with its implementation plan became effective on January 1, 2016. The implementation plan calls for the following revision of the Protection System Maintenance Programs by January 1, 2017.


The requirements set forth in the PRC-005-6 standard carries forward earlier requirements from superseded PRC‐ 005‐2, PRC‐005‐2(i), PRC‐005‐2(ii), PRC‐005‐3, PRC‐005‐3(i), PRC‐005‐3(ii), PRC‐005‐4 and PRC‐005‐5. These standards had established the minimum maintenance activities for Protection System, Automatic Reclosing, and Sudden Pressure Relaying Component Types and the maximum allowable maintenance intervals for these maintenance activities, depending on whether your company elected a “condition” based or “time” based maintenance program.

The standard scope now includes Sudden Pressure Relaying protection for all BES Elements that have that type of protection as well as Automatic Reclosing Components in certain instances.  Note that the definition of Sudden Pressure Relaying specifies only those that trip an interrupting device(s) to isolate the equipment it is monitoring are included. A system which alarms only on Sudden Pressure indication is not in scope for the maintenance program.

Requirement 1 (R1) calls for a revised Maintenance Program

If your Company’s previous Protection System Maintenance Program (PSMP)[1] did not (or currently does not) include Automatic Reclosing and Sudden Pressure Relaying within its scope, it must be revised to be compliant.

R1 of PRC-005-6 states “Each Transmission Owner, Generator Owner, and Distribution Provider shall establish a Protection System Maintenance Program (PSMP) for its Protection Systems, Automatic Reclosing, and Sudden Pressure Relaying identified in Section 4.2, Facilities.”

Implementation Plan

The implementation plan for the standard calls for the inclusion of Automatic Reclosing Components and Sudden Pressure Relaying Components to be 100% compliant twelve (12) months following applicable regulatory approvals of PRC‐005‐6 which is January 1, 2017.

For specific details of when the various other deliverables
under each of the requirements is subject to compliance audit, please review
the implementation plan for the standard included among the resources listed in
this update. There is also an extensive FAQ document which you may examine for
more background and detail.

[1] Protection System Maintenance Program (PSMP) ‐ An ongoing program by which Protection System, Automatic Reclosing, and Sudden Pressure Relaying Components are kept in working order and proper operation of malfunctioning Components is restored. A maintenance program for a specific Component includes one or more of the following activities:

  • Verify — Determine that the Component is functioning correctly.
  • Monitor — Observe the routine in‐service operation of the Component.
  • Test — Apply signals to a Component to observe functional performance or output behavior, or to diagnose problems.
  • Inspect — Examine for signs of Component failure, reduced performance or degradation.
  • Calibrate — Adjust the operating threshold or measurement accuracy of a measuring element to meet the intended performance requirement.