Electricity Markets

Leaders Of FERC And NERC Urge NAESB To Convene Forum To Address Reliability Challenges

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Rich Glick and Jim Robb, President and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), recently encouraged the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) to convene a forum that would identify solutions to reliability challenges facing the nation’s natural gas system and bulk electric system.

In their July 25 joint letter to NAESB, Glick and Robb recommended that NAESB convene the forum, as outlined in one of the key recommendations from the FERC-NERC report on the February 2021 freeze in Texas and the South Central U.S. caused by Winter Storm Uri.

The report, issued in November 2021, recommended that FERC consider establishing a forum to identify actions that would improve the reliability of the natural gas infrastructure system as necessary to support the bulk power system, and to address recurring challenges stemming from natural gas-electric infrastructure interdependency.

NAESB, an American National Standards Institute-accredited convener of both the gas and electric markets with representation from all segments of the supply chain, “is uniquely positioned to provide support in addressing the report recommendation,” Glick and Robb wrote.

“NAESB’s long history with the industry demonstrates its ability to analyze challenging issues concerning market coordination while delivering balanced, consensus-based solutions that lead to improved operations in both markets,” they said in the letter.

Robb and Glick encouraged NAESB to take steps to expeditiously convene the forum discussed in the November 2021 report and others like it.

“We also encourage NAESB to coordinate with FERC and NERC staff, and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, who all have BES [bulk electric system] regulatory and reliability expertise and experience with gas-electric cooperation,” they wrote.

The letter is available here.

In response to the letter, NAESB staff announced its intention to reconvene the NAESB Gas-Electric Harmonization Forum, with an initial organizational virtual meeting scheduled for August 30, 2022, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Central.  This will be an open meeting and all interested parties are welcome to attend.  Meeting registration is available here.