Progress has been made, but much work remains along the path to ERO completion.
James Fama is executive director, energy delivery, for the Edison Electric Institute. Contact him at www.eei.org.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) demonstrated strong leadership in meeting the aggressive timeline set by Congress for establishing the regulatory basis on which the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) will be created. In doing so, the commission has issued rules and orders requiring additions and modifications to NERC programs and procedures.
Much work indeed has been accomplished. But next summer’s peak-demand season is fast approaching. And much more work remains ahead for the industry to finish the job.
The 102 mandatory reliability standards submitted to FERC still must be approved. Regional delegation agreements must be executed and approved. Regional compliance programs must be revised as necessary to provide consistent enforcement and due process. These programs also must be ready when reliability standards are approved and become enforceable. And throughout the transition, mechanisms must be in place to ensure continuous reliability on a comprehensive basis.
All the stakeholders involved in this critical initiative can take pride in what has been accomplished. But we must now redouble our efforts and work together to accomplish these goals and complete the transition—effectively and promptly—from today’s world to the new era called for in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT).