NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard BAL-004-0 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard BAL-004-0

NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard BAL-004-0

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This page contains the NOP (Notice of Penalty) and ACP (Administrative Citation of Penalty) summaries. Click here to read the FFT (Find, Fix and Track) summaries.

Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), Docket NP13-12-000 (December 31, 2012)

Reliability Standard: BAL-004-0

Requirement: 3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: SERC

Issue: EKPC, as a Balancing Authority, self-certified that it violated BAL-004-0 R3, in failing to participate in two required Time Error Corrections (TECs). EKPC failed to correctly offset its frequency schedule in the first, and offset its frequency schedule from 60.00 Hertz in the second. After SERC requested more information, EKPC found that it missed three more required TECs. In the third, the Balance and Interchange (BI) Operator entered the correct TEC times, but mistakenly changed the frequency value to 60.02 Hertz instead of 59.98 Hertz as requested by the RC. In the fourth, the TOP took the RC call, but failed to relay the message to the Balance and Interchange Operator. For the fifth violation, the BI Operator started TEC immediately after the RC call, instead of at the top of the hour as requested by the RC, because of a misunderstanding of the TOP’s relayed message. SERC found that EKPC did not participate in five of 139 TECs required in 2010 and 2011.

Finding: The violation posed a minimal risk to BPS reliability, but not a serious or substantial risk, for the following reasons: (1) EKPC participated in the majority of 2010 and 2011 TECs; (2) the TECS done without EKPC participation were nonetheless successful; and (3) unsuccessful TECs could have been extended or reinstated by the Interconnection Time Monitor. In determining the appropriate penalty and approving the settlement agreement, SERC considered EKPC’s ICP as a mitigating factor.

Total Penalty: $15,000 (aggregate for 4 violations)

FERC Order: January 30, 2013 (no further review)

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LDWP), Docket No. NP12-36-000 (June 30, 2012)

Reliability Standard: BAL-004-0

Requirement: R3.1

Violation Risk Factor: Lower

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: WECC

Issue: LDWP, a BA, submitted a self-report stating that it had failed to timely participate in a manual Time Error Correction requested by the WECC Vancouver Reliability Coordinator (RC) on November 20, 2011, to correct for slow time error. WECC determined that after review of the record, LDWP violated BAL-004-0 R3.1 for failing to immediately offset its frequency schedule by 0.02 Hz and leaving its Frequency Bias Setting normal for 11 minutes.

Finding: WECC found the violation posed a minimal risk to BPS operations which was mitigated due to the short time period of the violation (11 minutes) and the size of LDWP. WECC further noted that many BAs were involved in the event and that once LDWP became a participant it helped boost the frequency in the interconnection which helped in the successful completion of the TEC. In determining the appropriate penalty, WECC considered LDWP's compliance history as an aggravating factor, but considered LDWP's internal compliance program as a mitigating factor. LDWP did not contest WECC’s findings.

Penalty: $1,500

FERC Order: Order issued July 27, 2012 (no further review)

South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, FERC Docket No. NP11-51-000 (November 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: BAL-004-0

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: SERC

Issue: South Carolina Electric & Gas Company ("SCEG") self-certified that in three instances it did not keep sufficient evidence to document responses to Time Error Correction requests issued during the reporting period of August 1, 2008 through July 31, 2009.

Finding: It was determined by SERC that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because SCEG already instituted a process improvement for executing Time Error Corrections prior to discovery of these three instances that would prevent future occurrences, and as a result of each occurrence, the frequency of the Eastern Interconnection was increased by only a very small amount. The duration of violation was three days: October 4, 2008; October 31, 2008; and November 2, 2008.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued December 30, 2010 (no further review)

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-180-000 (April 29, 2011)

Reliability Standard: BAL-004-0

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Lower

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: WECC

Issue: The Unidentified Registered Entity (URE) self-reported that it had improperly allowed its participation in a time error correction to lapse, causing its scheduled frequency to be 60.00 Hz (not the 59.98 Hz that was directed by the Reliability Coordinator). Upon receiving an alert from the Reliability Coordinator, the scheduled frequency was returned to 59.98 Hz for the remainder of the time error correction.

Finding: WECC and the URE entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby the URE agreed to pay a penalty of $71,500 and to undertake other mitigation measures. WECC found that the violation of BAL-004-0 only constituted a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability due to the timing of the time error correction (which occurred during the evening peak period where there is a tendency to reduce fast time error). The duration of the BAL-004-0 violation was on November 18, 2009. In approving the settlement agreement and the penalty determination, NERC considered the fact that the violations were the URE’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; most of the violations were self-reported; the URE was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations; the URE had a compliance program in place (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor); the penalty for the violation of IRO-STD-006-0 WR1 was based on a specified Sanction Table; the violations of IRO-005-2 R13 and TOP-008-1 R2 resulted from a single noncompliance occurrence; and there were no additional aggravating or mitigating factors.

Penalty: $71,500 (aggregate for 9 violations)

FERC Order: May 27, 2011 (no further review)

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-269-000 (September 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: BAL-004-0

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Lower

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: WECC

Issue: URE self-reported that it failed to offset its frequency schedule by 0.02% as requested by its RC during a manual Time Error Correction (TEC).

Finding: WECC determined that the violation posed a minimal and not a serious or substantial risk to the BPS because URE's violation occurred only during a time when there was no time error, and URE's contribution to the TEC in terms of generation involved was small. Duration of violation was 82 minutes. WECC and the NERC BOTCC took into consideration that URE self-reported the violation and that URE had a compliance program as particular mitigating factors.

Penalty: $225,000 (aggregate for 11 violations)

FERC Order: Issued October 28, 2011 (no further review)