FERC and NERC Provide Industry Guidance to Ensure Grid Reliability Amid Potential Coronavirus Impacts

Balch & Bingham LLP

On March 18, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) announced steps to ensure that operators of the bulk electric system can focus resources on safety and reliability during the COVID-19 emergency.  FERC and NERC are advising all registered entities that they will consider the impact of the coronavirus outbreak with regards to NERC compliance as follows:

  • The effects of the coronavirus will be considered an acceptable basis for non-compliance with the personnel certification requirements of Reliability Standard PER-003-2 from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Registered entities should notify their Regional Entities and Reliability Coordinators when using system operator personnel that are not NERC-certified.
  • The effects of the coronavirus will also be considered an acceptable reason for case-by-case non-compliance with NERC requirements involving periodic actions that would have been taken between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. Registered entities should notify their Regional Entities of any periodic compliance actions that will be missed during this period.
  • Finally, on-site audits, certifications and other on-site activities by Regional Entities will be postponed until at least until July 31, 2020. Registered entities should communicate any resource impacts associated with remote activities to their Regional Entities.

FERC and NERC will continue to evaluate the situation to determine whether the above dates should be extended.

To view the FERC-NERC joint announcement click here.

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Balch & Bingham LLP

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