NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard EOP-001-0 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard EOP-001-0

NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard EOP-001-0

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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.

American Electric Power Service Corporation as agent for Appalachian Power Company, Columbus Southern Power Company, Indiana Michigan Power Company, Kentucky Power Company, Kingsport Power Company, Ohio Power Company, and Wheeling Power Company, FERC Docket No. NP13-35 (May 30, 2013)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: 3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: RFC

Issue: On the evening of June 23, 2010, PJM, American Electric Power Service Corporation's (AEP) Reliability Coordinator, experienced multiple outages on the AEP 138 kV system in the Benton Harbor area of southwest Michigan (the Kenzie Creek Event). During RFC's compliance investigation of the Kenzie Creek Event, RFC determined that AEP did not fully implement its transmission emergency procedures (which include thermal operating guidelines to mitigate real-time exceedance of the load dump rating on its transmission lines). On June 23, 2010, instead of shedding load as called for in its transmission emergency procedures, AEP engaged in steps to open circuit breakers in order to reconfigure the transmission system. These actions only provided a minimal amount of load relief and did not mitigate the operating emergency (with the line exceeding its emergency rating for over three hours and its load dump rating for over one hour).

Finding: RFC found that this violation constituted a serious and substantial risk to BPS reliability since it increased the chances that AEP would be unsure whether and how to implement the necessary load shedding. AEP had attempted multiple switching options to try to alleviate the overload. Thus, AEP was aware of the situation and took immediate actions to try to resolve it, even though its actions only provided a minimal amount of load relief. The EOP-001-0 R2 violation occurred for three hours on June 23, 2010. AEP admitted to the facts of the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC BOTCC considered the fact that one of the violations was self-reported and that AEP had a compliance program in place (which was viewed as a partial mitigating factor). AEP also had two previous violations of FAC-009-1 R1. AEP was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations. Furthermore, AEP conducted an apparent cause analysis after the Kenzie Creek Event. In regards to the Kenzie Creek incident, one violation (FAC-009-1 R1) constituted a minimal risk to BPS reliability; five violations (COM-002-2 R2, EOP-003-1 R8, IRO-001-1.1 R8, PER-002-0 R1 and TOP-001-1 R5) constituted a moderate risk to BPS reliability; and four violations (EOP-001-0 R3, EOP-003-1 R1 and TOP-001-1 R1 and R2) constituted a serious and substantial risk to BPS reliability.

Total Penalty: $225,000 (aggregate for 10 violations)

FERC Order: Issued April 30, 2014 (no further review)

Arlington Valley, LLC - AVBA, FERC Docket No. NP13-9 (December 31, 2012)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (3, 4, 5, 6), Moderate (7)

Region: WECC

Issue: Arlington Valley, LLC – AVBA (Arlington Valley) self-reported, as a TOP, that it did not possess sufficient plans to mitigate operating emergencies on the transmission system or have adequate system restoration plans (3). Arlington Valley also did not have emergency plans that appropriately addressed operating emergencies or satisfied the requirements of Reliability Standard EOP-001-0 R4 and R5. As Arlington Valley did not have proper emergency plans, it was also unable to conduct an annual review of its emergency plans or provide updates to its Reliability Coordinator and neighboring TOPs and Balancing Authorities (6). In addition, Arlington Valley was unable to coordinate emergency plans with neighboring TOPs and Balancing Authorities, including the maintenance of reliable communications between interconnected systems and the coordination of transmission and generator maintenance schedules (in order to maximize capacity or conserve fuel that is in short supply) (7).

Finding: WECC found that the EOP-001-0 violations constituted a moderate risk to BPS reliability. In regards to the EOP 001-0 violations, the lack of proper emergency plans could worsen a system event and delay the restoration of Arlington Valley's transmission system and generation. But, the Salt River Project (SRP), the neighboring TOP, did have a restoration plan in place and would have been able to take the needed actions to restore BPS reliability. In addition, Constellation Energy Control and Dispatch (CECD), in its role as Arlington Valley's BA Service Agent, would have been able to provide support in emergency situations. Also, neither the Reliability Coordinator nor the neighboring TOP had alerted Arlington Valley to any reliability concerns during the course of the violations. The duration of the EOP-001-0 violations was from November 5, 2007 through May 6, 2009 (3, 4, 5, 6 and 7). Arlington Valley stipulated to the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, the NERC Board of Trustees Compliance Committee (BOTCC) considered the fact that these violations were Arlington Valley's first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; the violations were not intentional and were promptly mitigated once discovered; and Arlington Valley was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations. In addition, all but one of Arlington Valley's violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability.

Penalty: $60,000 (aggregate for 43 violations)

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

Bryan Texas Utilities, FERC Docket No. NP13-48 (August 30, 2013)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: 3/3.3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Moderate

Region: TRE

Issue: During a compliance audit, TRE determined that during the February 2, 2011 cold weather incident, Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) did not comply with its load shedding plans. BTU’s load shedding plans provided that load connected to UFLS relays should not be used when selecting feeders for an ERCOT Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) event, but in response to the February 2, 2011 RRA event, BTU operators shed load connected to two UFLS feeders.

Finding: TRE found that the violation only constituted a minimal risk to BPS reliability. The shedding of load connected to the UFLS feeders was only a violation of BTU’s internal procedures – not a violation of a NERC Reliability Standard or an ERCOT directive. In addition, the system was not in an under-frequency situation, and the two UFLS feeders represented only 5.6% of the total feeder listing and only 1% of the total system load. The duration of the violation was from February 2, 2011 through August 25, 2011. BTU neither admitted nor denied the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC BOTCC considered the fact that the violation was BTU’s first violation of this Reliability Standard and BTU had a compliance program in place when the violation occurred (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor). In addition, after the February 2, 2011 incident, BTU implemented an electronic program to track load shedding. BTU was also cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violation.

Total Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued September 27, 2013 (no further review)

California Independent System Operator (CAISO), Docket No. NP13-56-000 (Sept. 30, 2013)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3/3.3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: NERC

Issue: Pursuant to a Settlement Agreement entered into between the parties, CAISO was found to be in violation of multiple Reliability Standards with respect to a forced outage experienced by the Western Interconnection Bulk Electric System of the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) TL 50001 transmission line between SDG&E’s Imperial Valley and Miguel Substations, which was itself caused by a fire in a series capacitor bank. Among other violations, CAISO violated EOP-001-0 R3.3 in its functions as BA and TOP in its failure to effectively and fully implement load shedding plans in the Southern California Edison (SCE) service territory.

Finding: NERC found that this violation presented a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability, finding that the event was prolonged by SCE’s lack of adequate emergency plans. Load was insufficiently shed to adequately reduce flows. In determining the appropriate penalty, NERC considered the following: (1) CAISO had not previously been subject to NERC Reliability Standards violations; (2) CAISO self-reported violations; (3) CAISO was cooperative in the enforcement process; (4) CAISO maintained a compliance program at the time of the event; (5) CAISO did not appear to hide or cover up any violation; and (6) CAISO voluntarily took additional mitigating activities which included significant investment to improve its operations and avoid future violations.

Total Penalty: $120,000 (aggregate for 6 violations)

FERC Order: Issued October 30, 2013 (no further review)

City of Cleveland, Dept. of Public Utilities, Division of Cleveland Public Power, FERC Docket No. NP10-21-000 (December 30, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3, R4, R5, R6, R7

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: RFC

Issue: Cleveland Public Power (CPP) failed to develop, maintain and implement a plan to mitigate operating emergencies on its transmission system or a plan for system restoration, and therefore did not annually review nor coordinate such plans with neighboring transmission operators.

Finding: Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through September 26, 2008 (March 14, 2008 for R6 violation). In reaching a settlement penalty, RFC considered (1) CPP self-reported the violations; (2) CPP was cooperative throughout the enforcement process; and (3) CPP committed substantial financial and personnel resources, compared to its size, in order to achieve compliance with the standard.

Penalty: $160,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued January 29, 2010 (no further review)

City of College Station, FERC Docket No. NP13-49 (August 30, 2013)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: 3.3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: TRE

Issue: During a spot check, TRE found that City of College Station’s (COCS) load shedding procedures were not adequately developed or maintained as required. For example, COCS’ load shedding procedures were not updated and did not properly specify the amount of load that COCS was obligated to shed or the sequence in which feeders were to be shed.

Finding: TRE found that the violations constituted a moderate risk to BPS reliability since the failure of COCS to properly implement its load shed procedures caused COCS to be unable to meet its load event during a February 2, 2011 cold weather incident. In sum, during the February 1, 2011 incident, COCS did not supply 9.2 MWh of its 50.3 MWh load-shed obligation for 88 minutes out of the required time of 414 total minutes. The duration of theEOP-001-0 violation was from May 4, 2010 through April 13, 2011. COCS neither admitted nor denied the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC BOTCC considered the fact that the violations were COCS’ first violations of the relevant Reliability Standard and COCS had a compliance program in place when the violations occurred (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor). COCS was also cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations. TRE found that the violations did not present a serious or substantial risk to the BPS.

Total Penalty: $12,000 (aggregate for two violations)

FERC Order: Issued September 27, 2013 (no further review)

City of Homestead Electric Utilities, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: FRCC

Issue: During a FRCC audit in April 2008, it was determined that the City of Homestead Electric Utilities did not have documentation showing that its updated load shedding plan (which includes plans for operating emergencies on the transmission system) was posted to a common website before March 24, 2008.

Finding: FRCC found that the violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since the City of Homestead Electric Utilities did actually have a load shedding plan in place (which it could have produced upon request). This was the City of Homestead Electric Utilities' first violation of this Reliability Standard and it completed a mitigation plan.

Penalty: $1,000 ($47,000 aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: 129 FERC ¶ 61,119; http://www.nerc.com/files/Omnibus_NOP_Order-11132009.pdf

City of Tacoma, Department of Public Utilities, Light Division, FERC Docket No. NP10-188-000 (September 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: Tacoma self-certified that it failed to provide updated emergency plans to all of the required entities at the time the plans were updated.

Finding: It was determined by WECC that the violation constituted a minimal risk to the bulk power system because while Tacoma failed to provide updated plans to the entities required by the standard, it provided updated plans to Pacific Northwest Security Coordinator, Puget Sound Energy, and the Bonneville Power Administration (its neighboring entities). Duration of violation occurred from October 17, 2008, when the plans were updated, through January 9, 2009. An additional consideration in the penalty determination was that Tacoma did not have a documented internal compliance program until February 12, 2010.

Penalty: $7,500

FERC Order: Issued October 29, 2010 (no further review)

City of Tallahassee, FERC Docket No. NP11-181-000 (April 29, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: FRCC

Issue: The City of Tallahassee (Tallahassee) did not possess documentation showing that it had given its Reliability Coordinator, neighboring Transmission Operators, and neighboring Balancing Authorities its emergency plan regarding mitigating operating emergencies on its transmission system.

Finding: FRCC and Tallahassee entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby Tallahassee agreed to pay a penalty of $11,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. FRCC determined that the violation of EOP-001-0 only constituted a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability since Tallahassee had provisions within its Transmission Emergency procedure to engage in communications and coordination with its Reliability Coordinator, neighboring Transmission Operators, and neighboring Balancing Authorities in transmission emergency situations. Tallahassee had also engaged in seasonal planning assessments with the relevant Balancing Authorities and Transmission Operators to discuss potential transmission emergencies. The duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 through November 6, 2009.

Penalty: $11,000 (aggregate for 2 violations)

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Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB), Docket No. NP12-22-000 (March 30, 2012)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3, R4, R5, R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: EWEB registered as a TOP with NERC effective as of May 8, 2009, and subsequently, EWEB submitted self-reports addressing non-compliance with NERC Reliability Standards. EWEB is located in the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Control Area. Prior to May 8, BPA was registered with NERC as the area TOP, and BPA had informed EWEB that it was not required to register as a TOP with NERC; however, after review of a FERC order discussing TOP compliance, on April 6, 2009, BPA notified EWEB that it would no longer serve as its TOP. EWEB then registered as a TOP and reported itself as non-compliant with applicable NERC Reliability Standards.

Starting on May 8, 2009, the date EWEB registered as a TOP with NERC, EWEB was in violation of R3, R4, R5 and R6 of EOP-001-0. Regarding R3, EWEB did not develop, maintain and implement plans for mitigation of operating emergencies on the transmission system, in violation of R3. Regarding R4, EWEB had no emergency plans in place for mitigation of operating emergences, in violation of R4. Regarding R5, EWEB did not have all applicable elements of Attachment 1 to EOP-001-0 required for development of an emergency plan, in violation of R5. Regarding R6, EWEB did not review and update its emergency plan on an annual basis, as required, and it did not provide copies of such emergency plan to its RC or adjacent TOPs and BAs, in violation of R6.

Finding: The violations posed no serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability. WECC considered that EWEB was new to the TOP role because of a registration issue. During the period of time EWEB was developing its documentation, procedures and instructions, BPS risk was mitigated because EWEB did have documents in place that included the requirements of EOP-001-0, and prior to the existence of that documentation, BPA had an emergency operations plan in place that would have provided acceptable mitigation plans for any system operating emergencies. In addition, BPA conducted a technical assessment of EWEB’s electrical system in determining whether it would act as EWEB’s TOP, and the assessment results showed that BPA was not performing TOP duties in the first place, and second it did not need control of the EWEB system for BPS reliability. As the BA for EWEB, BPA was responsible for system reliability within its footprint. While EWEB was working towards TOP certification, BPA performed TOP duties such as coordinating outage plans, day-to-day routine real-time communications and notifications and any unplanned work forced by equipment failures, storms, etc. BPA assured the RC it would continue to communicate any planned and emergency outages and would work diligently with EWEB to obtain full TOP certification. At the time EWEB registered as a TOP, it was working on compliance with its other functions as Transmission Owner (TO), Transmission Provider (TP), Purchasing-Selling Entity (PSE), Load Serving Entity (LSE), Distribution Provider (DP), Generator Owner (GO) and Generator Operator (GOP).

WECC assessed no penalty due to the circumstances surrounding the non compliance. BPA unexpectedly notified EWEB that it would not be its TOP, effective immediately on April 6, 2009. EWEB then found itself immediately required to be NERC compliant. EWEB submitted its self reports in a timely manner and in addition submitted mitigation plans which were timely completed. The violations were not repeat violations and were not contested by EWEB.

Penalty: $0

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Farmington Electric Utility System, FERC Docket No. NP10-40-000 (February 1, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R4

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Farmington Electric Utility System (FEUS) did not have sufficient communications protocols in its Emergency Operations Plan.

Finding: Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through April 15, 2008. Penalty was deemed appropriate because it was FEUS' first violation of the applicable standard, FEUS self-reported eleven of the violations, and FEUS is a small generation and transmission system that had made a substantial commitment of financial and personnel resources to NERC compliance relative to its size.

Penalty: $40,250 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 3, 2010 (no further review)

Hoosier Energy REC, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP11-190-000 (May 26, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3, R4, R5 and R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Lower for R3, Severe for R4 and R6, and Moderate for R5

Region: ReliabilityFirst

Issue: During a compliance audit, ReliabilityFirst determined that Hoosier Energy REC, Inc. (Hoosier) did not develop, maintain and implement a set of plans to mitigate operating emergencies on the transmission system as required by R3.2. Hoosier also failed to include certain key elements in its emergency plans including a communications protocol with neighboring transmission operators or member cooperatives for use during emergencies, a list of controlling actions used to resolve emergencies, tasks and actions to be coordinated between transmission operators and the balancing authority in order to resolve an emergency, and staffing levels for an emergency, all as required by R4. Hoosier also failed to provide in its emergency plan that notifications must be given to government agencies and to other operating entities during an emergency as required by R5. Lastly, Hoosier did not provide a copy of its updated emergency plans to its reliability coordinator or neighboring transmission operators and balancing authorities prior to September 29, 2009 as required by R6. Duration of violation was June 18, 2007 when the standard became mandatory and enforceable through June 21, 2010, when the violation was mitigated.

Finding: ReliabilityFirst determined that the violations of R3, R4 and R6 posed a minimal risk to the bulk power system because Hoosier operates in an organized market, and thus congestion or transmission emergencies are usually resolved by Hoosier’s reliability coordinator. With respect to R5, ReliabilityFirst determined that the violation posed a minimal risk to the bulk power system becauseHoosier’s Load Curtailment Plan included contact information for the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counsl, and state police and FBI contacts were included in its 2008 Cyber Security Policy. Moreover, no evidence suggested that Hoosier failed to follow the directions of its reliability coordinator during an emergency. The NERC BOTCC also considered that the violation constituted Hoosier’s first occurrence of violation of the standards, Hoosier self-reported the PRC-005-1 violation, and Hoosier aggred to take actions that exceed those expected to achieve and maintain baseline compliance.

Penalty: $80,000 (aggregate for 10 violations)

FERC Order: Issued June 24, 2011 (no further review)

Kissimmee Utility Authority, FERC Docket No. NP09-20-000 (May 1, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: FRCC

Issue: Audit found no evidence that Kissimmee had provided copies of its updated emergency plans to its reliability coordinator or neighboring transmission operators and balancing authorities. Violation duration was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through October 5, 2007.

Finding: No penalty because the violation had occurred during the transition period to enforceable standards and because the violation had only a minimal impact on the reliability of the bulk power system.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued May 29, 2009 (no further review)

Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP11-266-000 (August 31, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Moderate

Region: FRCC

Issue: During an audit, FRCC determined that Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LCEC) failed to include the following elements in its emergency operations plan as a Transmission Operator: notification of appropriate government agencies and notification to operating entities.

Finding: FRCC found that the violation did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because LCEC used a standard practice of communicating with required parties during normal and emergency conditions, even though such practices were not documented in its emergency plan. Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007 through November 30, 2009.

Penalty: $30,000 (aggregate for 7 violations)

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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, FERC Docket No. NP10-141-000 (July 6, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R1, R6

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: LADWP self-reported a violation of R6, among other requirements of EOP-001-0, because its emergency plan did not include all the elements required by the standard, and submitted a mitigation plan on June 8, 2007. While it self-certified that it had completed its mitigation plan by the December 31, 2007 deadline, WECC determined that it had not shown completion of the mitigation plan with respect to R6 because it had not shown that it had distributed its new emergency plan to its neighboring entities. WECC determined this failure to timely complete the mitigation plan to be a sanctionable violation. LADWP separately self-reported a violation of R1 because it is interconnection to Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) by a critical DC line but it did not have a written operating agreement with BPA that provided for mutual assistance during emergencies, as required by the standard.

Finding: Duration of the violation of R6 was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through March 28, 2008, when LADWP demonstrated completion of its mitigation plan. The violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because LADWP had procedures and programs in place with neighboring entities addressing emergency conditions and events, even though they were not fully compliant with the standard. Duration of the violation of R1 was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through December 2, 2008. The violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because LADWP had a written agreement with CAISO, the most likely neighboring balancing authority to assist it in an emergency situation, and LADWP did have a verbal agreement with BPA even though it did not have a written one. LADWP was given credit for these being its first violations of the standard, and for self-reporting the violations.

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

FERC Order: Issued Oct. 8, 2010 (no further review)

Mesquite Power LLC, FERC Docket No. NP12-35 (June 29, 2012)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3, R4, R5, R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (R3, R4, R5, R6)

Violation Severity Level: Moderate (R3), Severe (R4, R5, R6)

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2009, Mesquite Power LLC (Mesquite), as a TOP, self-certified that it did not have emergency plans in place to address and mitigate operating emergencies on the transmission system nor did it have system restoration plans, as required (R3/R4/R5). As Mesquite did not have emergency plans, it was unable to provide copies of its emergency plans to its RC and to neighboring TOPs and BAs (R6).

Finding: WECC found that the EOP-001-0 violations only constituted a minimal risk to BPS reliability since Mesquite was coordinating all of its activities pursuant to the direction of its BA (including the activities with Mesquite’s RC). The duration of the EOP-001-0 violations was from November 5, 2007 through May 27, 2009. In approving the settlement agreement, the NERC BOTCC considered the fact that these were Mesquite’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standard; one of the violations (VAR-002-1 R3) was self-reported; Mesquite was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations; Mesquite did have a compliance program in place (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor); there were two violations of the same Reliability Standard (PER-003-0 R1) that demonstrated the repeat nature of the violation (which was evaluated as an aggravating factor); the violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability; and there were no additional aggravating or mitigating factors.

Penalty: $60,000 (aggregate for 26 violations)

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

Modesto Irrigation District, FERC Docket No. NP10-93-000 (March 31, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Modesto Irrigation District (MID) did not directly address four of fifteen necessary elements and apparently had not considered three of the fifteen applicable elements when it drafted its emergency plan documents.

Finding: The alleged violations occurred from June 18, 2007, when the Standard became enforceable, until September 17, 2008, when MID completed a mitigation plan. Through settlement, no penalty was assessed and MID agreed to undertake a number of activities, including accelerating "Job Task Analysis" development for MID's operators and construction of a back-up control center. In reaching the agreement, WECC considered that it was MID's first violations of this Standard; the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system; MID is a government entity and a small irrigation district; most violations were self-reported; MID did not attempt to conceal the violations; and the violations were not intentional.

Penalty: $0

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

NERC Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP10-137-000 (July 6, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not discussed

Region: WECC

Issue: The NERC Registered Entity failed to maintain an operating agreement with provisions to obtain emergency assistance from remote Balancing Authorities. Further, the NERC Registered Entity did not obtain emergency assistance agreements with adjacent Balancing Authorities until April 16, 2008.

Finding: The NERC Registered Entity mitigated the violation by amending its procedure on emergency assistance for capacity and energy emergencies to include instructions for emergency assistance to member Balancing Authority(ies) for events other than disturbances. No further publicly available information was provided.

Penalty: $39,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued August 5, 2010 (no further review)

Nevada Power Company, FERC Docket No. NP10-54-000 (March 1, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Nevada Power did not have adequate operating agreements in place with neighboring balancing authorities to comply with the standard prior to April 16, 2008. Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became effective through April 16, 2008.

Finding: The violation was deemed not to pose a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability because Nevada Power had emergency agreements in place with at least one adjacent balancing authority, even though they did not meet the standard's requirements.

Penalty: $52,000 (aggregate penalty for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 31, 2010 (no further review)

Northern States Power Companies, FERC Docket No. NP09-18-000 (May 1, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: MRO

Issue: Northern States Power's emergency plan failed to properly document numerous required elements from Attachment 1 of EOP-001-0, though the required procedures and processes were in place.

Finding: No penalty for this violation because (1) it was a documentation issue resulting in no serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system; (2) it was the first violation for Northern States Power; and (3) it was self-reported.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued May 29, 2009 (no further review)

PacifiCorp, FERC Docket No. IN11-6 (December 1, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3

Issue: On February 14, 2008, a short circuit occurred on a transformer at PacifiCorp’s Huntington generation plant in Utah, which triggered an immediate loss of approximately 2800 MW of generation across PacifiCorp’s East Balancing Authority Area (“PacifiCorp East” – which consists of Utah, southeast Idaho and western Wyoming) and the shedding of approximately 183 MW of firm load in Utah. PacifiCorp’s Commercial and Trading Energy Shortage Process Plan included a provision for PacifiCorp to appeal to CAISO for assistance. But, in responding to this emergency, PacifiCorp did not contact CAISO. The plan also described the curtailment of schedules and retail load, but PacifiCorp did not implement these provisions in response to the emergency.

Finding: On December 1, 2011, FERC approved a Stipulation and Consent Agreement between FERC Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”), NERC and PacifiCorp regarding PacifiCorp’s actions as a BA and TOP surrounding the February 14, 2008 disturbance. Enforcement and NERC found that PacifiCorp did not properly implement its own emergency plan and therefore did not try to take advantage of potential source of energy to resolve its energy shortage.

Penalty: $3,925,000 (aggregate for 23 violations)

FERC Order: http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/opennat.asp?fileID=12829507

Public Service Company of Colorado, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R1, R3, R4, R5

Violation Risk Factor: High (R1); Medium (R3, R4, R5)

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In August 2007, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCC) self-reported that it had not entered into an emergency assistance agreement with the adjacent Balancing Authority as required. Although PSCC had an Emergency Plan in place, PSCC self-reported that additional documentation was needed concerning system restoration plans, communication protocols, and other elements specified in EOP-001-0.

Finding: WECC found that the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since PSCC and its adjacent Balancing Authority were already part of a reserve sharing agreement that allows for external entities to provide assistance in emergency situations. In addition, PSCC did have relevant operational procedures and communication protocols in place and an Emergency Plan (even though they were not fully documented as required). The problems with the Emergency Plan were primarily documentation issues. Also, the violations were self-reported and were PSCC's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Mitigation plans have been completed.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)

Public Utility District No. 1 of Clark County, FERC Docket No. NP12-5 (November 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3, R4, R5, R6, R7

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: WECC

Issue: In preparation for its registration with NERC as a TOP, in April 2009 CKPD self-reported non-compliance with EOP-001-0 R3, R4, R5, R6 and R7. CKPD explained that its TOP, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), informed it on April 6, 2009, that it would no longer function as CKPD’s TOP effective immediately. As a result, CKPD was required to register as a TOP and report non-compliance with the Standard. CKPD reported that the requirements of EOP-001-0 were new to CKPD because of its TOP registration, and at the time of registration the following issues had not been resolved causing violations of the Standard. R3: CKPD had no plans in place for abating operating emergencies, load shedding and system restoration. R4: CKPD had no compliant emergency plans or procedures in place for responding to and resolving system operating emergencies. In addition, CKPD had no established communications protocols. R5: CKPD did not insert the appropriate portions in Attachment 1 of the Reliability Standard when creating its emergency plan. R6: CKPD did not review or update its emergency plan nor did it give the most recent version of its emergency plan to its RC and adjacent TOPs and BAs. R7: CKPD did not coordinate its emergency plans with adjacent TOPs and BAs.

Finding: WECC determined the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the BPS because all of the violations were related to CKPD not having compliant emergency plans and procedures in place; however, the emergency operations plans available through BPA were available to CKPD during the small time period it was developing its own emergency plans and procedures. In addition, at the time of its registration for the TOP function, CKPD was satisfying the requirements for its other functions as a TO, PSE, LSE, DP, GO and GOP. BPA performed tests on CKPD’s electric system during April 2009 which showed that it was not conducting TOP duties at the facility and the facility was not required to maintain system reliability. BPA also reported that CPKD employs experienced operators and also has internal maintenance procedures including a 24-hour dispatch center. WECC assessed no penalty for the violations based on the extenuating circumstances surrounding the non-compliance. In particular, BPA’s notice to CKPD that it would no longer operate as the TOP was unexpected and effective immediately. Consequently, CKPD was immediately responsible for registration and compliance with all applicable TOP standards. WECC also considered the following mitigating factors: the violations were self-reported, mitigation plans were quickly submitted and timely completed; the risk to the BPS was not serious or substantial; the violations were not repeat violations; and CKPD did not dispute the violations.

Penalty: $0 (for 33 violations)

FERC Order: Issued December 30, 2011 (no further review)

Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County (SNPD), Docket No. NP12-22-000 (March 30, 2012)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3, R6, R7

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: SNPD registered as a TOP with NERC effective as of February 6, 2009, and subsequently, SNPD submitted self-reports addressing non-compliance with NERC Reliability Standards. SNPD is located in the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Control Area. BPA was registered with NERC as the area TOP, and BPA had informed SNPD that it was not required to register as a TOP with NERC; however, after review of a FERC order discussing TOP compliance, on December 24, 2008, BPA notified SNPD that it would no longer serve as its TOP, effective immediately. SNPD then registered as a TOP and reported itself as non-compliant with applicable NERC Reliability Standards. SNPD underwent a WECC audit in January 2012 and no compliance violations were found.

Starting on February 6, 2009, the date SPND registered as a TOP with NERC, SNPD was in violation of EOP-001-0 R3, R6 and R7. Regarding R3, SNPD did not develop, maintain and implement plans to alleviate BPS risk during an operating emergency, including plans on insufficient generating capacity; the transmission system; load shedding; and system restorations. Regarding R6, SNPD did not review and update its emergency plan yearly, as required, and it did not give a copy of its updated emergency plans to its RC and adjacent TOPs and BAs. Regarding R7, SNPD had not coordinated emergency plans with adjacent TOPs and BAs, as required.

Finding: The violations posed no serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability. WECC considered that SNPD was new to the TOP role because of a registration issue. Even though SPND did not have formal plans in place for operating emergencies, and as such was not reviewing those required plans yearly or coordinating the relevant plans with adjacent TOPs and BAs as required, the risk was mitigated because all of the EOP-001-0 requirements were contained in various agreements with the BPA. The plans were developed by BPA and were acceptable procedures for mitigating operating emergencies during the time SNPD was restating the agreements’ terms and adding them into its own emergency plan. In addition, BPA conducted a technical assessment of SPND’s electrical system in determining whether it would act as SPND’s TOP, and the assessment results showed that BPA was not performing TOP duties in the first place, and second it did not need control of the SNPD system for BPS reliability. While SNPD was working towards TOP certification, BPA performed TOP duties such as coordinating outage plans, day-to-day routine real-time communications and notifications and any unplanned work forced by equipment failures, storms, etc. BPA assured the RC it would continue to communicate any planned and emergency outages and would work diligently with SNPD to obtain full TOP certification. At the time SNPD registered as a TOP, it was working on compliance with its other functions as Transmission Owner (TO), Transmission Provider (TP), Purchasing-Selling Entity (PSE), Load Serving Entity (LSE), Distribution Provider (DP), Generator Owner (GO) and Generator Operator (GOP).

WECC assessed no penalty due to the circumstances surrounding the non compliance. BPA unexpectedly notified SNPD that it would not be its TOP, effective immediately on December 24, 2008. SNPD then found itself immediately required to be NERC compliant. SNPD submitted its self reports in a timely manner and in addition submitted mitigation plans which were timely completed. The violations were not repeat violations and were not contested by SNPD.

Penalty: $0

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PUD No. 1 Douglas County, FERC Docket No. NP10-167-000 (September 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not discussed

Region: WECC

Issue: PUD No. 1 of Douglas County (DOPD), as a Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator, failed to maintain a set of plans or procedures to address emergencies related to its transmission system.

Finding: The alleged violation occurred from June 18, 2007, when the Standard became mandatory and enforceable, until September 30, 2008. WECC imposed a $70,000 penalty for this and other violations. In assessing the penalty, WECC determined that the alleged violation did not create a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because DOPD's lack of plans for mitigating operating emergencies on the transmission system could have resulted in improper or delayed recovery actions with adverse impact on other systems. Further, DOPD's operators were trained to recognize and take action to resolve transmission emergencies, up to and including shedding firm load.

Penalty: $70,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued October 29, 2010 (no further review)

Puget Sound Energy, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP10-37-000 (February 1, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Puget Sound failed to provide evidence that it reviews and annually updates its emergency plans.

Finding: Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through May 27, 2008. Penalty was determined appropriate because this was Puget Sound's first violation of the standard, its internal compliance program was well-documented and the violation was deemed a documentation issue.

Penalty: $50,000 (aggregate with violation of FAC-003-1)

FERC Order: Issued March 3, 2010 (no further review)

Rochester Public Utilities, FERC Docket No. NP11-254-000 (August 11, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: MRO

Issue: During a compliance audit, MRO discovered that Rochester Public Utilities’ (RPU) plans to mitigate operating emergencies were not in compliance with R5 because they did not include any written procedures for dealing with environmental constraints or mandatory load curtailment. Also, RPU’s emergency plan did not have a mandatory load curtailment plan to use as a last resort. Duration of violation was June 18, 2007 through February 1, 2010.

Finding: MRO determined that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because RPU’s system operators had the ability to curtail load via central dispatch supervisory control and had the authority to remove environmental constraints in the event of an emergency. Moreover, RPU had never experienced an emergency requiring load curtailment or removal of environmental constraints. The NERC BOTCC also considered that: MRO originally assessed a penalty for the violations but reduced it to $0 because RPU’s proposed mitigating actions went above and beyond those required to bring RPU into compliance (RPU’s above and beyond activities include the planned purchase of $68,340 in new testing equipment and training); RPU was cooperative throughout the investigation; RPU created a compliance committee in response to the findings; and there was no evidence RPU attempted to conceal the violations

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued September 9, 2011 (no further review)

Sacramento Municipal Utility District, FERC Docket No. NP10-29-000 (December 30, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R4

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: SMUD's emergency plans did not include required elements such as communications protocols, tasks to be coordinated and staffing levels during emergencies. Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through March 31, 2008.

Finding: WECC determined the penalty was justified because (1) the violation involved documentation failure only; (2) this was SMUD's first violation of this standard; and (3) there was no evidence SMUD attempted to conceal the violation.

Penalty: $65,000 (aggregate for multiple violations, several of which have a VRF of High)

FERC Order: Issued January 29, 2010 (no further review)

Silicon Valley Power (SVP), Docket No. NP13-21-000 (January 31, 2013)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: 3, 5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (3, 5)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (3, 5)

Region: WECC

Issue: SVP, as a TOP, self-certified that it had not developed, maintained and implemented plans to mitigate operating emergencies resulting from insufficient generating capacity, transmission system emergencies, load shedding and system restoration, as required (3). SVP also self-certified that it did not have plans designed to mitigate operating emergencies that satisfied the requirements of the Reliability Standard (5).

Finding: WECC found that the EOP-001-0 R3 violation constituted only a minimal risk to BPS reliability since the Metered Subsystem Agreement, which SVP and CAISO are parties to, contains procedures to mitigate operating emergencies for insufficient generating capacity and load shedding. WECC found that the EOP-001-0 R5 violation constituted a moderate risk to BPS reliability since SVP’s lack of plans could have delayed restoration after operating emergency situations of SVP’s load and generation. But, SVP does have an Electric Emergency Load Curtailment Plant and the Metered Subsystem Agreement, both of which address operating emergencies and load-shedding. The duration of the EOP-001-0 violations was from May 27, 2011 through October 15, 2012. SVP agreed and stipulated to the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, the NERC BOTCC considered the fact that these were the SVP’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards and four of the violations were self-reported. URE was also cooperative during the enforcement process, did not conceal the violations and engaged in voluntary corrective action to remediate the violations. Twelve of the violations posed a minimal risk to BPS reliability, and five of the violations posed a moderate risk, while none of the violations posed a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability.

Total Penalty: $150,000 (aggregate for 17 violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 1, 2013 (no further review)

Southwestern Public Service Co., FERC Docket No. NP08-9-000 (June 4, 2008)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3.4, R4.4, R5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: SPP

Issue: SPS self-reported that several of the required operating procedures were in place but not sufficiently documented in a consolidated location. SPS also identified a deficiency in its Emergency Operations Plan pursuant to R4.4 regarding identification of staffing levels during emergencies.

Finding: No penalty assessed because the violations were self-reported and quickly remedied, occurred prior to the standards becoming mandatory, and the violations were deemed not to put bulk power system reliability at serious or substantial risk.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: 124 FERC ¶ 61,015 (2008); http://www.nerc.com/files/NoticeOfPenaltyOrder.pdf

TransAlta Centralia Generation, LLC, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R3, R4, R5, R6, R7

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (R3, R4, R5, R6, R7)

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In May 2007, TransAlta Centralia Generation, LLC (TransAlta) self-reported that it did not possess an Emergency Operations Plan for its facilities as required. According to an O&M Agreement in place, the Balancing Authority performed the relevant function and maintained an Emergency Operations Plan for TransAlta.

Finding: WECC found that the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since TransAlta and its Balancing Authority had entered into an agreement in April 2000 to ensure that the relevant procedures were put in place (even though the procedures did not meet all of the requirements of EOP-001-0). The violations were primarily documentation issues. Additionally, the violations were self-reported and were TransAlta's first violation of this Reliability Standard. A mitigation plan has been completed.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-124-000 (February 23, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: RFC

Issue: RFC found that the Unidentified Registered Entity (URE) failed to provide a copy of its updated emergency plans to its neighboring Transmission Operators and Balancing Authorities in 2007.

Finding: The NERC Board of Trustees Compliance Committee (NERC BOTCC) approved a settlement agreement which included a penalty in the amount of $100,000 for this and other violations. In reaching this determination, the NERC BOTCC considered the following facts, among others: the violation constituted the URE's first violation of the subject NERC Reliability Standard; the URE self-reported 11 of the 16 violations; the URE cooperated during the compliance enforcement process; the URE's compliance program; the URE did not attempt to conceal a violation or intend to do so; the violation did not create a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system; and there were no other mitigating or aggravating factors or extenuating circumstances.

Penalty: $100,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 25, 2011 (no further review)

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-128-000 (February 23, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R5, R7

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Following a compliance audit, WECC Enforcement determined Unidentified Registered Entity (URE) did not have a complete emergency plan because it did not include all of the specified elements listed in the standard. Specifically, the plan did not contain environmental constraints, load management, optimize fuel supply, appeals to customers to use alternate fuels, maximizing generator output and availability, and load curtailment in violation of R5. In addition, the Audit Team determined URE did not have evidence that it had coordinated emergency plans with other transmission operators and other authorities. Specifically, URE's documentation failed to account for the Transmission Operator and Balancing Authority's ability to arrange new interchange agreements to provide for emergency capacity or energy transfers if necessary.

Finding: WECC Enforcement determined the violations did not pose a serious or substantial threat to the bulk power system because URE had established and maintained communications with interconnected systems, it was coordinating transmission and generator maintenance schedules to maximize capacity or conserve fuel in short supply, and it had arranged deliveries of electrical energy or fuel from remote systems through normal operating channels. Moreover, the likelihood of requiring new interchanges is remote because URE has interconnections to larger entities. In determining the penalty amount, the NERC Board of Trustees Compliance Committee considered the following factors: this was URE's first occurrence of this type of violation; URE was cooperative; and the number and nature of the violations.

Penalty: $450,000 (aggregated for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 25, 2011 (no further review)

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-218-000 (June 29, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-001-0

Requirement: R1, R6

Violation Risk Factor: High (R1), Medium (R6)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (R1), High (R6)

Region: WECC

Issue: WECC found that the Registered Entity did not have operating agreements with remote or adjacent Balancing Authorities regarding the provision of emergency assistance (R1). The Registered Entity also did not perform an annual review and update for all of its emergency plans (such as its Black Start Procedure) and did not possess documentation showing that, before January 2009, it was sharing its emergency plans with its neighbors as required (R6).

Finding: WECC and the Registered Entity entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby the Registered Entity agreed to pay a penalty of $130,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. WECC found that the EOP-001-0 R1 violation constituted a high risk to bulk power system reliability, but the EOP-001-0 R6 violation only posed a minimal risk. While there were no relevant operating agreements with adjacent Balancing Authorities, the Registered Entity was a participant in a Reserve Sharing Program where the participants provided each other with emergency assistance. The Reserve Sharing Group had copies of the Registered Entity’s emergency plans. In addition, while the Registered Entity did not conduct an annual review of its Black Start Procedure, only 14 months had passed since the previous review. The duration of the EOP-001-0 violations was from June 18, 2007 through January 22, 2010 (R1) and from October 5, 2008 through January 15, 2009 (R6). In approving the settlement agreement, NERC found that there were three instances of noncompliance with Regional Reliability Standard PRC-STD-005-1 WR1 (which was evaluated as an aggravating factor); some of the violations were self-reported; the Registered Entity was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations; the Registered Entity had a compliance program in place (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor); the penalties for the violations of Reliability Standards EOP-001-0 R6 and EOP-005-1 R2 were aggregated since both penalties were based on a single act of noncompliance; the penalties for the violations of Reliability Standards PRC-STD-005-1 WR1 and VAR-STD-002b-1 WR1 were based on the respective Sanction Tables; and there were no additional aggravating or mitigating factors.

Penalty: $130,000 (aggregate for 27 violations)

FERC Order: Issued July 29, 2011 (no further review)