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Speaking of Reliability

Fortnightly Magazine - March 1 1998

THE North American Electric Reliability Council is in the midst of public workshops to discuss how best to implement the recommendations made in its Electric Reliability Panel's final report. In January, the NERC Board of Trustees approved, Reliable Power: Renewing the North American Electric Reliability Oversight System, which recommends transforming the current council into an independently governed and funded North American Electric Reliability Organization.

The panel suggests modeling the new self-regulating organization after the National Association of Securities Dealers, another SRO. The NAERO's primary purpose, the panel decided, should be to set rules for grid security with the secondary purpose to "assess and encourage the system's adequacy."

NERC is looking for input on several items, including: membership and funding criteria; how to include Canadian and Mexican regulators in the oversight process; and how to continue voluntary participation in the new organization while requiring a "mandatory system of compliance." (For information on how to participate in the two remaining workshops in Dallas and Toronto see the NERC Web site at, or call 609-452-8060.)

The NERC conclusions parallel recommendations and concerns voiced by the DOE Electric System Reliability Task Force in its Nov. 7, 1997, position paper, Maintaining Bulk-power Reliability Through Use of a Self-Regulating Organization. F

(em Lori M. Rodgers, associate editor.


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