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How Needed Is NERC?

Critics say its new budget and business plan could simply duplicate the work of RTOs.

Fortnightly Magazine - November 2006

1839). That initial report, submitted in February, instructed NERC to take the lead and proceed with using technical conferences, industry meetings, and independent studies. In addition, the joint U.S. and Canadian task force on the August 2003 Northeast Blackout already had recommended that NERC should adopt better real-time tools for grid system operators and reliability coordinators, plus better-quality tools for power system modeling and data exchange. (See, “A Report to Congress Pursuant to Sec. 1289 of the Energy Policy Act of2005,” www.ferc.gov/legal-stsff-reports/trans-mon-rpt.pdf.)

Yet the ISO/RTO council urges FERC that NERC’s activities in this area only should “supplement” the resources of grid operators. And the council continues to warn against allowing NERC to get its foot in the door of grid operations:

“If the new system merely duplicates arrangements that already exist,” says the council, “it will be expensive, redundant, and provide few benefits.”

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