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WSCC Endorses Mandatory Protocols

Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 1997

The Board of Trustees of the Western Systems Coordinating Council (WSCC) has endorsed a new reliability compact that would require mandatory compliance and enforcement of established electric system reliability protocols in the Western U.S.

WSCC said it is taking a leadership role in overhauling the existing "voluntary" reliability management process and replacing it with a new framework to strengthen the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of WSCC and the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC). The WSCC reliability compact will focus on who is responsible and accountable for ensuring reliability and how the industry will manage reliability to ensure compliance with established operating protocols. The compact emphasizes the need for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to support mandatory reliability protocols, and to require an "obligation to comply" as part of its tariffs and marketing licenses. It recognizes that an effective reliability management process will require that market participants doing business in the western interconnection become members of WSCC, and that costs of reliability must be fully recoverable and paid for by all consumers and market participants.

"The WSCC compact recognizes that the current voluntary structure for ensuring reliability is no longer viable in this new era of competition, and it must be replaced with a mandatory and enforceable system," said Jan B. Packwood, WSCC Chair and Idaho Power Co. Executive Vice President. A WSCC task force will propose specific actions required to implement the reliability compact.

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