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FERC Approves Cold Weather Reliability Standards

On February 15th 2024, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its order approving extreme cold weather reliability standards.

FERC’s News Release states in part:

The reliability standards, proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in October 2022, contain new and revised requirements to advance reliability of the grid during extreme cold weather temperatures. They include implementation of generator freeze protection measures, enhanced cold weather preparedness plans, identification of freeze-sensitive equipment in generators, corrective actions for when equipment freeze issues occur, annual training for generator maintenance and operations personnel, and procedures to improve the coordination of load reduction measures during a grid emergency.

Although FERC approves the new extreme cold weather reliability standards, FERC also identifies areas for improvement, and directs NERC to modify the extreme cold weather preparedness and operations reliability standard to address concerns related to applicability, ambiguity, a lack of objective measures and deadlines, and prolonged, indefinite compliance periods. Also, along with the approval and directives for modifications, FERC directs NERC to collect and assess data over time to monitor and assess entities’ implementation of the new requirements.

FERC implemented approximately half of the standards-related recommendations from the joint inquiry into the 2021 winter storm in its Order. A second phase of NERC’s standards development is under way to address the remaining recommendations.


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