Project 2010-07: Generator Requirements at the

Project 2010-07: Generator Requirements at the
Project 2010-07:
Generator Requirements at the Transmission Interface
Background Resource Document
The integrated grid consists of many parts such as power plants, Transmission, and Facilities 1, some
of which are known as generator interconnection Facilities and operate like extension cords to
connect generating plants to the overall interconnected grid. Some plants consist of just a single
generating unit, other plants consist of multiple generating units, and still others consist of multiple
generating units spread over several thousand acres. While not all power plants and their associated
Facilities are considered part of the Bulk Electric System (BES) 2, of concern is how to classify all
such generating Facilities, including their generator interconnection Facilities, to ensure that NERC’s
Reliability Standards provide an appropriate level of reliability for the BES.
When such generator interconnection Facilities are owned by the Generator Owner, are part of the
BES, and meet the criteria in the Statement of Compliance Registry Criteria, the Project 2010-07—
Generator Requirements at the Transmission Interface standard drafting team (drafting team)
concludes that such Facilities are only to be included in the reliability standards requirements
applicable to the Generator Owner or Generator Operator. To ensure that responsibility for the
generator interconnection Facilities is included in all necessary standards, however, a select number
of standards need to have Generator Owners added to their applicability.
The purpose of Project 2010-07 is to ensure that all generator-owned Facilities are appropriately
covered under NERC’s Reliability Standards. The drafting team believes it is appropriate to classify
various generating Facilities and Elements (sometimes including generator interconnection Facilities)
as part of the BES. That does not mean, however, that a Generator Owner or Generator Operator
should be required to automatically register as a Transmission Owner or Transmission Operator
simply because it owns and/or operates BES Elements or Facilities that are considered by some
entities to be Transmission. While Generator Owners and Generator Operators meeting the criteria in
the Statement of Compliance Registry Criteria own and operate Elements and Facilities that are
considered by some entities to be Transmission, these are most often not part of the integrated grid,
and as such should not be subject to all of the same standards applicable to Transmission Owners and
Transmission Operators who own and operate transmission Elements and Facilities that are part of
the integrated grid.
“Facility” is defined in NERC’s Glossary of Terms as “A set of electrical equipment that operates as a single Bulk
Electric System Element (e.g., a line, a generator, a shunt compensator, transformer, etc.).”
The current definition of “Bulk Electric System” in the NERC’s Glossary of Terms reads: “As defined by the
Regional Reliability Organization, the electrical generation resources, transmission lines, interconnections with
neighboring systems, and associated equipment, generally operated at voltages of 100 kV or higher. Radial
transmission facilities serving only load with one transmission source are generally not included in this definition.”
The drafting team interprets “electrical generation resources” as inclusive of generator interconnection Facilities.
Note that this definition is undergoing significant revision under Project 2010-17—Definition of Bulk Electric
When the Elements and Facilities owned and operated by Generator Owners and Generator
Operators are considered by some entities to be Transmission and deemed part of the integrated grid,
registering the Generator Owner or Generator Operator as a Transmission Owner or Transmission
Operator is appropriate. But most often the Facilities are limited to interconnecting generation to the
Transmission system and as such have little, if any, measurable effect on the overall reliability of the
BES. In fact, registering a Generator Owner or Generator Operator as a Transmission Owner or
Transmission Operator may decrease reliability by diverting the Generator Owner’s or Generator
Operator’s attention from the operation of the equipment that actually produces electricity – the
generation equipment itself.
The drafting team’s goal is to ensure that an adequate level of reliability is maintained in the BES by
clearly describing which standards need to be applied to generator interconnection Facilities that are
not already applicable to Generator Owners or Generator Operators. This can be accomplished by
properly applying selected standards or specific standard requirements to Generator Owners and
Generator Operators. The drafting team recommends a plan to modify the requirements and measures
of a selected number of standards to make them applicable to appropriate Generator Owners and
Generator Operators.
Proposed Next Steps and Review of Reliability Standards
Below, the drafting team outlines its recommendations to clearly identify the appropriate generation
Facilities and standards requirements that should apply to such generation Facilities to ensure that the
reliability of the BES is maintained:
FAC-001-0—Facility Connection Requirements currently applies to Transmission Owners and
addresses the need for Transmission Owners to establish Facility connection and performance
requirements for interconnection to their Facilities. Because Generator Owners may be requested to
allow interconnection to their Facilities, the STD recommends the following:
Revise FAC-001 so that it applies to a Generator Owner if, and when, it executes an
Agreement to evaluate the reliability impact of interconnecting another Facility to its existing
generation Facility. (See accompanying draft standard FAC-001-1.)
o In its first posting for informal comment, the drafting team set the “trigger” for the
application of FAC-001 as the receipt of a request for interconnection. Many
commenters disagreed with this approach and suggested that the “trigger” be based
upon “the intent or obligation” to interconnect a new Facility to an existing
interconnecting Facility that is owned by a generator. Accordingly, the drafting team
has proposed language to addresses this concern. The intent of this modified language
is to start the compliance clock at such time as the Generator Owner executes an
Agreement to perform the reliability assessment required in FAC-002-1. This step
should occur whether the generator voluntarily agrees to the interconnection request
or is compelled by a regulatory body to do so. In either case, we expect the Generator
Owner and the requestor to execute some form of Agreement. We intentionally
excluded a specific reference to the form of Agreement (such as a feasibility study) in
deference to comments that we should avoid comingling of commercial and
reliability aspects in reliability standards.
FAC-003-2—Vegetation Management currently applies to Transmission Owners and addresses the
need to maintain a reliable electric transmission system by using a defense-in-depth strategy to
manage vegetation located on transmission Rights-of-Way (ROW) and minimize encroachments
from vegetation located adjacent to the ROW. It has been a major concern that certain types of
Facilities used to interconnect generation be required to provide the same level of vegetation
management as required for the Transmission Owner operating in the BES. Numerous comments
requested a specific length for the interconnecting line before considering application of the standard.
The drafting team recommends:
Revise FAC-003 so that it applies to Generator Owners that own a Facility that extends
greater than one half mile beyond the fenced area of the switchyard, generating station or
generating substation (up to the point of interconnection with the Transmission system). (See
accompanying draft standards FAC-003-X and FAC-003-3.)
o The drafting team elected to use the half-mile qualifier in its latest proposed changes.
The GOTO Ad Hoc Group had originally proposed something similar, but their
proposed criterion was a length of “two spans (generally one half mile from the
generator property line).” The drafting team elected to use only the half-mile qualifier
because it has been supported by industry comment and is clearer than referencing
both two spans and the half-mile length. This distance is within the Generator
Owner’s line of sight and could be visually monitored for vegetation conditions on a
routine basis. Beyond the distance of one half mile, a vegetation management
program is necessary to manage the Right-of-Way.
o The drafting team also added text boxes to each proposed standard modification to
help define certain terms within the context of the standard, rather than propose
defined terms.
At this stage, the drafting team is developing two versions of proposed revisions to FAC-003: one to
FAC-003-1, the current FERC-approved version of the standard (labeled FAC-003-X in
accompanying documents) and one to FAC-003-2, the proposed version currently under development
under Project 2007-07 (the Project 2010-07 team is labeling its revisions as FAC-003-3). See the
accompanying proposed redline standards for further justification and detail.
The proposed changes listed above mark a significant decrease in changes originally proposed by the
GOTO Ad Hoc Group in its Final Report. The drafting team has again reviewed every reliability
standard included in that report, as well as MOD and TPL standards identified in comments it has
received. The drafting team does not believe that changes to reliability standards other than FAC-001
and FAC-003 are necessary to close any reliability gaps associated with generator interconnection
Facilities that are non-network/non-integrated in nature (typically radial and used solely for the
purpose of connecting the generating unit or units to the Transmission Facilities). Below, the drafting
team has included its notes about why no other standards require modification as part of this project.
The standards highlighted here are those about which questions were raised by commenters or
regulatory staff:
COM-001-1.1: This standard applies to entities with a wide-area view. The related
responsibilities for Generator Operators are already addressed in COM-002-2.
EOP-005-2: There was some concern that EOP-005 did not properly account for the
Generator Operator’s responsibility when it comes to system restoration plans, but EOP-0053
2, R13 (which received regulatory approval on May 23, 2011) requires Generator Operators
to have written Blackstart Resource Agreements or mutually agreed upon procedures or
protocols with its Transmission Operator. Requirements R14 through R18 require the
Generator Operator to develop procedures, test its blackstart generators, and provide related
MOD-001-1a, MOD-004-1, MOD-008-1, MOD-028-1, MOD-029-1a, MOD-030-2: To
apply these standards to Generator Operators would require them to have a wide-area view of
the integrated grid and to utilize commercially sensitive information that Generator Operators
are currently precluded from viewing or using. In some cases, such as with MOD-001, the
standard could only apply if a Generator Operator was registered as a Transmission Service
Provider due to an interconnection service request and subsequently adopted an Open Access
Transmission Tariff. The drafting team does not believe this is likely, unless ordered by
PER-002-0: In Order 693, FERC directed NERC to “expand the applicability of the
personnel training in Reliability Standard, PER-002-0, to include (i) generator operators
centrally-located at a generation control center with a direct impact on the reliable operation
of the Bulk-Power System...” In Order 742, the Commission said it is “not modifying the
Order No. 693 directive regarding training for certain generator operator dispatch personnel,
nor are we expanding a generator operator’s responsibilities.” This issue does not deal with
generator interconnection Facilities and is thus outside the scope of Project 2010-07. The
directive has been included in NERC’s issues database to be addressed in a future project.
PRC-001-1: Generator Operators are already appropriately accounted for in this standard in
requirements 1, 2, 3, and 5.
TOP-003-0: TOP-003-0 already requires the Generator Owner to provide outage information
to its Transmission Operator on a daily basis. Proposed TOP-003-2 R4 continues to make this
responsibility clear by requiring Generator Owners and Generator Operators to satisfy the
obligations of the Transmission Owner’s and Transmission Operator’s data specification
TOP-006-2: TOP-006-2 deals with general issues with generator reporting. Though not
explicitly stated, Requirement R2 requires reporting of scheduled outages of equipment such
as voltage regulators, shunt capacitors, etc. The drafting team believes that Elements
associated with a generator interconnection Facility are to be reported under this requirement
VAR-001-1: This standard also requires a wide-area view that is inappropriate for a
Generator Operator. Generator Operators, for instance, should never be setting voltage
VAR-002-1.1b: The drafting team received some comments expressing concern about
capacitors under operational control of the Generator Operator. Requirement R3.2 requires
notification for status or capability change on any other Reactive Power resources under the
Generator Operator’s control and the expected duration of the change in status or capability.
The drafting team believes that capacitors are included in this requirement.
The drafting team also decided not to propose new defined terms in the NERC Glossary, but has met
with NERC and FERC staffs, regional compliance managers and industry organizations to discuss
possible solutions to the issue of concern to most Generator Owners and Generator Operators –
registration as Transmission Owners and Transmission Operators. The drafting team believes this
issue has the attention of appropriate NERC and regional staffs and has volunteered to provide
assistance in those groups’ efforts to address them. While these changes are not within the explicit
scope of the drafting team, the goal is to work with NERC and regional compliance enforcement and
compliance registration staffs to develop a comprehensive package that will address all reliability
gaps – whether real or perceived – so that entities are appropriately registered and the appropriate
reliability standards are applied to those entities.
The drafting team acknowledges that there may be Elements and Facilities that are not radial or used
solely for the purpose of connecting the generating unit(s) to Transmission Facilities. It is outside the
scope of the drafting team to address this as part of its project, but it believes that the best way to
address these non-radial Facilities is through changes to the criteria in the Statement of Compliance
Registry Criteria as they apply to Generator Owner or Generator Operator. Trying to apply simple
‘bright line’ criteria to such Facilities as a drafting team would be a daunting task, as the
configuration of interconnections is not consistent continent-wide, nor are all adjacent Elements and
Facilities similar. Addressing these non-radial generator interconnection Facilities will require
individual evaluations to ensure that no reliability gaps exist, and this is a task best suited to
compliance staffs.
The drafting team also acknowledges that, if another party interconnects to a Facility owned by a
Generator Owner, there may be the need to address MOD or TPL standards. However, the drafting
team believes that this, too, is best handled through specific evaluation, perhaps accompanied by
changes to the compliance registry. Entities that face this kind of scenario may also meet criteria
applicable to other registrations such as Transmission Service Provider or Transmission Planner.
Other Solutions
Because the efforts outlined here will likely not take effect for a year or more, Generator Owners and
Generator Operators that are concerned about their registration status should explore options like
those explained below and in further detail in NERC Compliance Bulletin 2010-004.
On April 20, 2010, NERC Compliance published a Public Bulletin to provide guidance for situations
like this, in which entities delegate reliability tasks to a third-party entity. In this bulletin, NERC
Compliance emphasizes that while a registered entity may not delegate its responsibility for ensuring
that a task is completed, it may delegate the performance of a task to another entity.
As is explained in the bulletin, compliance responsibility for applicable NERC Reliability Standard
requirements and accountability for violations thereof may be achieved through several means,
including the following:
1. By Individual: an entity is registered on the NERC Compliance Registry and such registered
entity assumes full compliance responsibility and accountability; or
2. By Written Contract: parties enter into written agreement whereby:
a. A registered entity delegates the performance of some or all functional activities to a third party
that is not a registered entity, and the registered entity retains full compliance responsibility and
violation accountability; or
b. A registered entity delegates the performance of some or all of the functional activities to a third
party, and the third party accepts full compliance responsibility for the specific functions it performs
and violation accountability. In this case, there may be individual, concurrent or joint registration of
the entities, depending on the nature of the contractual relationship and, in any event, only the
registered entity would be held responsible or accountable by a Regional Entity or NERC; or
3. By Joint Registration Organization (JRO): each party is registered and is required to clearly
identify and allocate compliance responsibility and violation accountability for their respective
functions under applicable NERC Reliability Standard requirements.
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