Can NERC Juggle All Three En Route to Open Access?
At the year's start, the North American Electric Reliability Council decided to leave its "peer pressure" policy behind and require mandatory compliance with its reliability standards. As NERC grapples with its new policy, Public Utilities Fortnightly asked eight industry representatives how they might ensure reliability in a restructured electric industry.
It had taken time for NERC to arrive at this point, but itÆs official: Mandatory sanctions and business incentives will soon be used to enforce compliance. Furthermore, all market participants will have to comply with reliability protocols. NERC has called on regulators to hit those who donÆt comply with financial penalties. It also wants to schedule and ôtagö power transactions.
For the rest of this year, "The Future Role of NERC Task Force II," a broad group of industry reps, will ponder how to carry out these policy positions on the way to the changing competitive market.
As an early step, the task force was expected to propose to the NERC board on May 5 a process for developing and approving new NERC standardsùa piecemeal process that heretofore has involved the separate regional councils, such as the WSCC. The task force had also agreed to suggest that the board should focus its effort on assuring voting rights and representation on the board and its committees. NERC would add two seats to the board and customer-sector committees. Under the same resolution, NERC would work to get a more balanced market representation. Regional councils, as well, would become more balanced.
The task force has yet to review several key topics, including dispute resolution policy and developing enforcement measures and options to ensure compliance.