The North American Electric Reliability Council should be promptly certified as America’s electric reliability organization.
James Fama is executive director, energy delivery, at the Edison Electric Institute. He can be reached at 202-508-5725.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is moving forward under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) to create an electric reliability organization (ERO). It will at the same time be establishing mandatory reliability standards, delegating the enforcement authority to regional entities, and ensuring that the regional entities properly enforce those standards.
To accomplish these goals and create the strong electric reliability system envisioned by Congress, the commission needs to focus on many issues, two of which are especially important: creating consistency in how compliance and enforcement programs are carried out at the regional level, and leading the transition—effectively and promptly—from today’s world to the new era called for in EPACT.
Regional Enforcement Consistency
Maintaining a reliable electricity system in the United States is both a national and a regional matter because significant expertise, experience, and wherewithal reside with the regional reliability entities. In addition, some of the reliability standards that will be developed will be regional in nature to reflect the differences in regional operations, systems, resources, and the like.