Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
1. Under section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) proposes to approve regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 (Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding). The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) submitted the proposed regional Reliability Standard to the Commission for approval. The proposed regional Reliability Standard applies to generator owners, planning coordinators, distribution providers, and transmission owners in the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) Region and is designed to ensure the development of an effective automatic underfrequency load shedding (UFLS) program to preserve the security and integrity of the Bulk-Power System during declining system frequency events, in coordination with NERC's continent-wide UFLS Reliability Standard PRC-006-1.
2. The Commission also proposes to approve the associated violation risk factors (VRF) and violation severity levels (VSL), implementation plan, and effective dates proposed by NERC.
3. Section 215 of the FPA requires a Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards that are subject to Commission review and approval. Once approved, the Reliability Standards may be enforced by NERC, subject to Commission oversight, or by the Commission independently.
4. A Regional Entity may develop a Reliability Standard for Commission approval to be effective in that region
As a general matter, we will accept the following two types of regional differences, provided they are otherwise just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential and in the public interest, as required under the statute: (1) a regional difference that is more stringent than the continent-wide Reliability Standard, including a regional difference that addresses matters that the continent-wide Reliability Standard does not; and (2) a regional Reliability Standard that is necessitated by a physical difference in the Bulk-Power System.
5. On April 19, 2007, the Commission accepted delegation agreements between NERC and each of the eight Regional Entities.
6. NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 establishes continent-wide design and documentation requirements for UFLS programs that arrest declining frequency and assist recovery of frequency following system events leading to frequency degradation.
7. On May 4, 2012, NERC petitioned the Commission to approve proposed regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 and the associated VRFs and VSLs, effective dates, and implementation plan.
8. Proposed regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 has 23 requirements, each having an associated measure of compliance. The proposed standard also includes Figure 1, which includes a curve that establishes a threshold for setting underfrequency trip protection for generators in the portion of the NPCC Region in the Eastern Interconnection. NERC explains that the proposed regional Reliability Standard is based on the program characteristics defined within NPCC Directory #12 Underfrequency Load Shedding Program Requirements, which contains the criteria that govern the NPCC Automatic UFLS program that have been in place since June 26, 2009.
9. NERC also proposes VRFs and VSLs for each requirement of the proposed regional Reliability Standard and an implementation plan and effective dates. NERC states that these proposals were developed and reviewed for consistency with NERC and Commission guidelines.
10. NERC proposes two effective dates for the proposed regional Reliability Standard. NERC states that Requirements R1 through R7 would become effective on the first day of the first calendar quarter following applicable regulatory approval but no earlier than January 1, 2016. The implementation plan states that the January 1, 2016 effective date for Requirements R1 through R7 is meant to allow for completion of the on-going six-year implementation period for NPCC Directory #12 Underfrequency Load Shedding Program Requirements.
11. Pursuant to FPA section 215(d)(2), we propose to approve regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. Proposed regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 is designed to operate in conjunction with the NERC continent-wide UFLS Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 by mitigating the consequences of underfrequency events, while accommodating differences in system transmission and distribution topology among NPCC planning coordinators due to historical design criteria, makeup of load demands, and generation resources.
12. The proposed regional Reliability Standard includes requirements not found in the corresponding NERC continent-wide UFLS Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 that are more stringent than Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 and accommodate differences in system transmission and distribution topology among NPCC planning coordinators due to historical design criteria, makeup of load demands, and generation resources.
13. For example, the generator underfrequency trip threshold in PRC-
14. While we propose to approve regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1, the Commission seeks comment on: (1) the technical basis for the 57.8 Hz maximum tripping limit for existing nuclear units established in Requirement R19; and (2) the time-frames for actions that result in changes to the NPCC UFLS program.
15. First, Requirement R19 of the proposed regional Reliability Standard for existing nuclear generating plants provides that:
16.The NERC petition does not explain the technical basis for establishing 57.8 Hz as the maximum frequency at which existing nuclear units may trip pursuant to Requirement R19.1. The NERC petition states that the proposed regional Reliability Standard was based on the work of an NPCC working group.
17. Second, Requirement R3 of NERC's Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 requires the planning coordinator to set the schedule for the distribution providers and transmission owners to implement the UFLS program. The regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1, Requirements R5, R16.2, and R19.3, require distribution providers, transmission owners, and generator owners to provide, inform, and transmit exceptions to the UFLS program and justifications for the exceptions to the planning coordinator. The requirements, however, do not specify a time-frame for the completion of these actions. Requirements R5, R16.2, and R19.3 address actions that can result in changes to the UFLS program and should occur before the UFLS program is implemented, thus making it necessary for entities to provide the required information to the planning coordinator within a specified period of time. We note there are other requirements in the proposed regional Reliability Standard that also require actions of distribution providers, transmission owners, and generator owners that should occur before the UFLS program is implemented that include specific time-frames.
18. NERC states that each Requirement of the proposed regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 includes one VRF and one VSL and that the ranges of penalties for violations will be based on the sanctions table and supporting penalty determination process described in the Commission-approved NERC Sanctions Guideline. The Commission proposes to approve the VRFs and VSLs for regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 proposed by NERC as consistent with the Commission's established guidelines.
19. NERC proposes that Requirements R1 through R7 become effective on the first day of the first calendar quarter following applicable regulatory approval but no earlier than January 1, 2016 while Requirements R8 through R23 become effective the first day of the first calendar quarter two years following applicable regulatory approval. NERC states that the implementation plan provides that “this standard is based, in part, on the timelines reflected in the existing and ongoing Implementation Plan for NPCC Directory #12 absent the annual milestones required by Directory #12.”
20. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations require that OMB approve certain reporting and recordkeeping (collections of information) imposed by an agency.
21. The Commission is submitting these reporting and recordkeeping requirements to OMB for its review and approval under section 3507(d) of the PRA. Comments are solicited on the Commission's need for this information, whether the information will have practical utility, the accuracy of the provided burden estimate, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and any suggested methods for minimizing the respondent's burden, including the use of automated information techniques.
22. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes to approve regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1. This is the first time NERC has requested Commission approval of the proposed regional Reliability Standard. NERC states in its petition that UFLS requirements have been in place at a continent-wide level and within NPCC for many years prior to implementation of the Commission-approved Reliability Standards in 2007. Because the UFLS requirements have been in place prior to the development of PRC-006-NPCC-1, the proposed regional Reliability Standard is largely associated with requirements that applicable entities are already following.
Total Annual Cost (Reporting + Record Retention)
24. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the following: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director, email:
25. For submitting comments concerning the collection(s) of information and the associated burden estimate(s), please send your comments to the Commission and to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, phone: (202) 395-4638, fax: (202) 395-7285]. For security reasons, comments to OMB should be submitted by email to:
26. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.
27. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA)
28. Proposed regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 proposes to achieve a coordinated, comprehensive UFLS region-wide consistent program within the NPCC Region to achieve and facilitate the broader program characteristics contained in the requirements of the continent-wide Reliability Standard PRC-006-1.
29. Further, NERC explains that the cost for smaller entities to implement regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 was considered during the development process. NERC states that proposed regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 provides an opportunity for smaller entities to aggregate their load with other such entities in the same electrical island. This allows each smaller entity's respective planning coordinator to achieve the desired aggregate outcome within that island according to program characteristics.
30. Based on this understanding, the Commission certifies that the regional Reliability Standard will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.
31. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues proposed in this notice to be adopted, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due November 26, 2012. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM12-12-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.
32. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's web site at
33. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.
34. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.
35. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the
36. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.
37. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at (202) 502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at
By direction of the Commission.