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Special Report

Fortnightly Magazine - December 1998

for a North American SRRO. That language was to be agreed on during November and submitted to the board by January for approval. From there, NERC planned to seek a broad consensus on this core language, while letting others debate related legislative issues regarding industry restructuring.

Stay tuned.

Courtney Barry is a writer who formerly worked for the General Counsel of the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Reliability Time Line


Jan. 16 DOE Task Force. First meeting. (To help Clinton Administration develop policy.)

May 1 Tagging Rules. NERC's "Operating Policy 3" mandates "tagging" for grid transactions.

Aug. 27 CAPT Complaint. Coalition Against Private Tariffs argues tagging rules violate FERC Order 888.

Aug. 28 NERC Response. NERC says it will modify tagging rules.

Nov. 6 Antitrust Threat. At sixth meeting of DOE Task Force, ELCON's John Anderson hands out legal memo warning that NERC structure violates antitrust law.

Sept. 20 Blue Ribbon Panel. Holds first meeting. Formed to advise NERC on reorganization.

Dec. 22 Blue Ribbon Report. Urges formation of self-regulating reliability organization, with FERC oversight and top-down national structure.


Jan. 5 NAERO Deadline. NERC board sets January 1999 as target for restructuring. Creates four "task groups" to study issues.

Feb. 20 FERC Conference. FERC invites comment on how to meld transmission access rules w/NERC reliability standards.

Mar. 25 Marketer Petition. Coalition of power marketers files rulemaking petition, wants FERC to abandon "native load" preference, allocate grid access on for-profit basis.

Mar. 31 Blue Ribbon Comments. Some 30 groups file comments on Blue Ribbon report.

Apr. 7 Tagging Order. FERC resolves CAPT complaint, says it can reject NERC rules that violate Order 888.

Apr. 17 NAERO Task Group Reports. Filed reports reiterate Blue Ribbon findings.

June 5 TLR Rules. NERC seeks certification for "off-path" rules for transmission line loading relief.

June 9 Task Group Comments. Industry comments on NAERO Task Group Reports.

June 12 TLR Approval. FERC notice says industry can apply NERC's off-path TLR rules in Eastern Interconnection pending final decision, raising ire of some utilities.

June 24-25 Midwest Spikes. Turmoil hits Midwest power markets. Some prices reach $7,000/MWh.

June 26 Placing Blame. Attorney Sara Schotland circulates memo to ELCON members noting that TLR rules have "triggered in-fighting" among electric utilities.

July 13 Birth of NAERO. NERC board launches NAERO, releases draft legislation to make NAERO the one and only reliability organization.

Aug. 6 In Congress. Reps. DeLay (R-Tex.), Markey (D-Mass.) introduce H.R. 4432, "Electric System Reliability Act of 1998."

Aug. 17 NAERO Comments. NAERO receives comments on its draft legislation.

Sept. 21 EPSA Endorsement. Electric Power Supply Association endorses power marketer petition filed 3/25/98.

Sept. 24 Price Spike Report. FERC analyzes Midwest price spikes. Finds no evidence of firm curtailments. Warns of shortfalls in generation.

Sept. 29 DOE Delegates. U.S. assigns authority to FERC under Federal Power Act sec. 2029(a) to divide nation into regional districts for grid coordination.

Sept. 29 Mission Ended. DOE Task Force issues final report and disbands.


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