NERC seeks to defer implementation of reliability standards due to COVID-19

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation has filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to defer the implementation of several reliability standards that have effective dates or phased-in implementation dates in the second half of 2020.

NERC said that the action is a measure to help assure grid reliability amid the impacts posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the motion, NERC asks that FERC defer the implementation of reliability standards in the areas of cyber security, specific training for personnel, disturbance monitoring and reporting requirements and generator relay loadability. For the cyber security standards that address supply chain issues, NERC is seeking to defer implementation by three months and for the other standards by six months.

NERC said that while this motion addresses only those reliability standards scheduled to become effective during the remainder of 2020, it recognizes that there are significant uncertainties regarding the duration of the outbreak and the subsequent recovery.

NERC therefore said it will continue to evaluate the circumstances to determine whether additional implementation delays may be warranted and submit any appropriate filings with FERC at that time.

FERC, NERC offer guidance to ensure reliability amid potential coronavirus impacts

FERC and the NERC on March 18 announced that they are taking steps to ensure that operators of the bulk electric system can focus their resources on keeping people safe and the lights on during the unprecedented public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Public Power Association has set up a webpage that provides information and resources for its members related to COVID-19 and updates on how this affects APPA programs and events.