The Top 10 FERC Enforceable Standards in 2009

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We knew it was coming. FERC enforcement actions picked up significantly in 2009. But what surprised us most was the eye-popping 214 violations for PRC-005-1.

Top 10 FERC Enforceable Standards of 2009

So, what exactly is PRC-005-1?

Simply put, the NERC PRC-005-1 standard says (but is not limited to the following – see below for link/download of standard):

  • Owners of generation Protection Systems shall have a maintenance and testing program for all protection devices that affect the reliability of the Bulk Electric System (BES).
  • The program must include a maintenance and testing interval for each type of device and the basis used for determining that interval.
  • The owner must provide documentation of its system maintenance and testing program and the implementation of that program to its Regional Reliability Organization on request within 30 calendar days.
  • The program must provide the evidence that each Protection System device was maintained and tested within the defined intervals including the last tested/maintained date.

You can download the NERC PRC-005-1 Standard here.

Why has complying with PRC-005-1 been such a challenge to utilities?

The legacy of the unregulated past of both small and large utilities has left them with islands of disconnected data related to physical devices and assets that have an affect on the BES. This data consists primarily of work orders, maintenance activities, test results and supporting evidentiary documentation. Unfortunately, all of this data tends to reside in disparate systems such as ERP, spreadsheets, hard copies, custom databases, test systems, etc., and are typically spread across various departments and facilities in the enterprise. If a utility is found in non-compliance with the NERC Standard during an audit, it can result in fines from the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Achieving compliance with PRC-005-1

As daunting a challenge this might sound, there is a cost effective and simple solution that provides a central hub for real-time visual compliance to NERC PRC Standards. CATSWeb ER seamlessly integrates data from dozens of differing sources into a single repository and creates logical relationships amongst this data to perform measurements and analytics in real-time dashboards. This provides a visual status of PRC compliance of all devices and assets across the enterprise. Users also get real-time alerts and notifications as trends towards non-compliance occur, well before a state of non-compliance happens. The system also maintains a complete auditable history that’s ready for an audit of all devices, issues and actions in maintaining control and compliance.

Visit the NERC website to view enforcement actions, settlements and penalties.

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