NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard EOP-008-0 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard EOP-008-0

NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard EOP-008-0

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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.

Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. - Tapoco Division (APGI-Tapoco), Docket No. NP13-8-000, November 30, 2012

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: SERC

Issue: Further to a compliance audit, SERC reported a violation of R1 when APGI-Tapoco, as a TOP, failed to provide evidence of a contingency plan to continue reliability operations in the event its control center becomes inoperable. In addition, the TOP did not have evidence of annual reviews of such a plan.

Finding: SERC determined that the R1 violation posed a minimal risk to the reliability of the BPS because the load being served was only internal APGI-Tapoco load, making restoration a business interruption factor for the company, and the TOP's generation had not been deemed critical to the reliability of the BPS nor was it designated as a component of the BA's or RC's overall system blackstart plan. SERC and APGI-Tapoco entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby APGI-Tapoco agreed to pay a penalty and to undertake other mitigation measures to come into compliance with R1. SERC considered Alcoa Inc's FERC Compliance Policy and Plan (which governs APGI-Tapoco) a mitigating factor in making its penalty determination. The duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 through December 12, 2011. APGI-Tapoco neither admits nor denies the R1 violation.

Penalty: $11,000 (aggregate for 12 violations)

FERC Order: Issued December 28, 2012 (no further review)

Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. - Yadkin Division (APGI-Yadkin), Docket No. NP13-8-000, November 30, 2012

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: SERC

Issue: Further to a compliance audit, SERC reported a violation of R1 when APGI-Yadkin, as a BA and TOP, failed to provide evidence for four of eight sub-requirements for its contingency plan to continue reliability operations in the event its control center becomes inoperable.

Finding: SERC determined that the R1 violation posed a minimal risk to the reliability of the BPS because the load being served was only internal APGI-Yadkin load, making restoration a business interruption factor for the company, and the TOP's generation had not been deemed critical to the reliability of the BPS nor was it designated as a component of the RC's overall system blackstart plan. SERC and APGI-Yadkin entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby APGI-Yadkin agreed to pay a penalty and to undertake other mitigation measures to come into compliance with R1. SERC considered Alcoa Inc's FERC Compliance Policy and Plan (which governs APGI-Yadkin) a mitigating factor in making its penalty determination. The duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 through December 28, 2011. APGI-Yadkin neither admits nor denies the R1 violation.

Penalty: $13,000 (aggregate for 12 violations)

FERC Order: Issued December 28, 2012 (no further review)

Beaches Energy Services of Jacksonville Beach, FERC Docket No. NP11-181-000 (April 29, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1.3, R1.7

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: FRCC

Issue: Beaches Energy Services of Jacksonville Beach's (BES) Loss of Control Center contingency plan did not include details about monitoring and control of voltage control as required (R1.3). In addition, BES did not possess the annual update and review from 2008 for its plan regarding the loss of its primary control center.

Finding: FRCC and BES entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby BES agreed to pay a penalty of $25,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. FRCC determined that the violation of EOP-008-0 R1.3 only constituted a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability since BES' operating personnel knew their obligations in regards to monitoring and controlling voltage in situations where Control Center functionality is lost (even though the plan was not properly documented). In addition, FRCC found that the violation of EOP-008-0 R1.7 only constituted a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability since BES did actually have a plan in place and its personnel had been appropriately trained. The duration of the EOP-008-0 violations was from June 18, 2007 through September 24, 2009 (R1.3) and from January 1, 2009 through March 25, 2009 (R1.7).

Penalty: $25,000 (aggregate for 6 violations)

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

City of College Station (COCS), Docket No. NP12-44-000 (August 31, 2012)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: 1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: TRE

Issue: COCS filed a self-report in September 2010 explaining a violation of the EOP-008-0 R1 Reliability Standards. As a TOP, COCS is required by R1.1 to have a contingency plan using voice or data communication capabilities outside of the primary control center (PCC) in the event the PCC is disabled. COCS reported that before June 2012, it was depending on data links from its PCC to support back-up control center (BCC) operations if its PCC became inoperable. TOPs are required to have plans in place for voice or data communication capabilities that do not depend on the PCC in the event a BCC is being used for system operations. Also, COCS had no documentation on PCC functionality loss response procedures and inter-area schedule management procedures required under R1.2. R1.3 requires any contingency plan to list all critical transmission facilities, and COCS did not include that list. Finally, COCS was unable to show that its contingency plan implementation training procedures met the requirements of R1.6.

Finding: The violation was deemed by TRE to pose moderate risk to BPS reliability. If voice communications had failed during the time period prior to the independent TOP contract being effective, timely and effective communications with ERCOT could have been difficult. TRE found, though, that COCS' BCC was always capable of voice communications with ERCOT. Also, during part of the relevant time period, COCS was party to a contract with a TOP that would not use COCS' BCC if the PCC was inoperable. The contracted TOP uses a backup control facility that receives directives from the BA and RC. Any BPS impact would be minimal should a system failure occur. COCS also reported a PER-003-0 R1 violation in May 2012 that indirectly impacted this violation in that the actions undertaken to mitigate that violation led to a reduced risk associated with the EOP-008 issues under this violation because the BCC functions would have been provided by the outside TOP. In determining the appropriate penalty, TRE gave mitigating credit for COCS' internal compliance program. In addition, COCS performed "above and beyond" measures that were considered including the installation of cyber locks prior to the mandatory enforcement date; the addition of a new Compliance Office; and the hiring of an outside contractor to help COCS meet PER-005 requirements.

Penalty: $7,000

FERC Order: Issued September 28, 2012 (no further review)

El Paso Electric Company, FERC Docket No. NP10-25-000 (December 30, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: EPE failed to document the required procedures and responsibilities for periodic testing and annual training in the event its control center became inoperable.

Finding: Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through January 30, 2009. In determining the penalty for aggregate violations, NERC gave credit for (1) self-reporting of two violations; (2) cooperation through the audit process; (3) evidence of an effective compliance culture; and (4) these being EPE's first violations.

Penalty: $15,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 15, 2010 (no further review)

E.ON U.S. Services Inc., FERC Docket No. NP09-2-000 (December 12, 2008)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: SERC

Issue: E.ON failed to complete or to notify SERC of timely completion of mitigation plans related to pre-enforceable standard violations of EOP-008.

Finding: Duration of violation from June 18, 2007 through March 14, 2008. Penalty recognized (1) E.ON might have subjected the reliability of the bulk power system to additional and reasonably avoidable risk; (2) SERC's efforts in ascertaining completion of mitigation plan should not have been required and was an unnecessary cost on its compliance monitoring and enforcement resources; (3) E.ON committed to host, finance and provide speakers for a reliability compliance workshop; and (4) lack of negative relevant compliance history on the part of E.ON.

Penalty: $235,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: 126 FERC ¶ 61,014 (2009), http://www.nerc.com/files/NOP_Order-01092009.pdf

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

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

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 R1 of EOP-008-0 when it was found to have no plan for continuous reliable operations should its control center become inoperable.

Finding: The violation posed no serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability. WECC considered that EWEB was new to the TOP role because of a registration issue. Although EWEB did not have a formal plan in place meeting the EOP-008-0 requirements, it did have “existing, proven practices” for continued system operation in the event its control center becomes inoperable. EWEB system operators know the proper process for maintaining system operation in the event of a control center breakdown, which WECC confirmed. WECC ultimately determined this violation was a documentation issue. 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

FERC Order: Issued April 30, 2012 (no further review)

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

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Farmington Electric Utility System ("FEUS") did not have a sufficient plan for loss of control center functionality. Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through November 18, 2008.

Finding: Penalty was deemed appropriate because these were FEUS' first violations of the applicable standards, 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)

Florida Reliability Coordinating Council, Inc. FERC Docket No. NP15-3-000 (October 30, 2014)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1/R1.5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SERC

Issue: Florida Power & Light Company functions as the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council, Inc.’s (FRCC) agent for real-time and next-day planning RC functions. During August 8-9, 2012, a core router pair, which supported the communications network for the FRCC’s energy management system (EMS) at FPL’s primary control center, malfunctioned due to a buffer overrun. As a result, the EMS was rendered inaccessible from system operator consoles and FRCC was only able to fully access its EMS/Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system three hours later. FRCC self-reported that, prior to the incident, it did not perform adequate periodic tests to ensure reliable operations in the event its control center became inoperable. During the incident, FRCC was unable to activate its back-up control center due to incorrect network configuration, and this improper configuration was not previously discovered as FRCC’s testing plan did not include disabling authentication servers.

Finding: SERC determined that the violation posed a serious or substantial risk to the BPS reliability since proper system testing would have identified the configuration errors and shown that the plan was unviable. However, even though the backup control center was not immediately available after the primary control center became inoperable, no actual harm to the BPS occurred as FRCC used other monitoring capabilities to maintain situational awareness during the incident. In addition, none of the FRCC BES elements were de-energized and no System Operating Limits (SOLs) were exceeded during the incident. The duration of the EOP-008-0 violation was from June 18, 2007 through August 9, 2012. FRCC neither admitted nor denied the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, the NERC BOTCC considered the fact that all of the violations constituted a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability. However, these were FRCC’s first violation of the Reliability Standards at issue and the violations were self-reported. FRCC also had an internal compliance program in place, which SERC evaluated as a mitigating factor. In addition, FRCC was cooperative throughout the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations.

Penalty: $85,000 (aggregate for 4 violations)

FERC Order: Issued November 28, 2014 (no further review)

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

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not discussed

Region: WECC

Issue: Modesto Irrigation District (MID) did not a back-up source of data and voice communication separate from the primary control center and its contingency plan was not up to date and MID failed to annually update its contingency plan to continue reliable operations

Finding: The alleged violations occurred from June 18, 2007 until June 12, 2009, when the Standard became enforceable, until June 12, 2009, 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. NP10-159-000 (July 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: The Registered Entity self-reported that it did not have a written procedure for the annual review and update of its contingency plan, even though it did conduct annual tests of its backup control center, including required personnel training.

Finding: Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007, when the Reliability Standard became enforceable, through February 1, 2008. The violation did not pose a serious risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because while the Registered Entity did not meet the Reliability Standard, it was conducting annual tests and training. This was the Registered Entity's first violation of the Reliability Standard.

Penalty: $109,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued August 27, 2010 (no further review)

Northern States Power (Xcel Energy) (NSP), FERC Docket No. NP13-44 (July 31, 2013)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: 1.5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: MRO

Issue: While conducting a compliance audit during February 2011, MRO found that NSP, as a TOP, did not have established procedures and responsibilities for conducting period tests of its plans in the event its control centers were inoperable. NSP has two control centers. MRO found that NSP had in place documented and tested plans for loss of control center functionality for its main control center; however, NSP did not finish the annual testing of the plan at its second control center. Specifically, NSP failed to complete the tests to confirm the system operator’s ability to communicate via cell phone during emergencies when operators travel between the control centers. MRO determined that NSP did complete testing and documenting the plans one week prior to the compliance audit. The violation occurred between January 1, 2008, the date when all testing should have been finished through February 23, 2011, when NSP confirmed its plans for loss of control center function were fully tested.

Finding: The violation was deemed to pose a minimal, but not serious or substantial, risk to BPS reliability. NSP had completed the majority of testing, and plans were in place for loss of control center functionality. The cell phone testing involved a drive of five miles and making a phone call, which MRO found would have minimal impact on BPS reliability. NSP neither admitted nor denied the violations but agreed to a settlement with the MRO. In determining the appropriate penalty, NSP’s compliance history was considered an aggravating factor. NSP cooperated during the enforcement procedure, and there was no evidence that NSP tried to conceal the violations nor was there evidence the violations were intentional. MRO also considered NSP’s internal compliance program.

Total Penalty: $250,000 (aggregate for four violations)

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

NorthWestern Corporation, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In January 2008, NorthWestern Corporation (NorthWestern) self-reported that upon testing of its Disaster Recovery Plan for its Primary Control Center, it discovered that the Disaster Recovery Plan would not be viable in long term if there was a complete loss of NorthWestern's Primary Control Center.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since NorthWestern did have a backup control center and had actually tested its Disaster Recovery Plan (even though the plan did not meet all of the requirement of EOP-008-0). The violation was self-reported and this was NorthWestern's first violation of this Reliability Standard. A mitigation plan has been completed.

Penalty: $0

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

Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), Docket No. NP12-47-000 (September 28, 2012)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: 1/1.5/1.6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: After receiving a Notice of On-site Compliance Audit, PNM, as a BA and TOP, submitted a self-report of non-compliance with EOP-008-0. Subsequently, the Audit Team confirmed the following violations: (1) PNM did not document procedures and responsibilities for annually testing the viability of the transfer of its generation dispatch function in its contingency plan. (2) PNM failed to test the transfer of generation dispatch from Wholesale Power Marketing Operations (WPM) to Power Operations Control Center (PWOPS). (3) PNM's contingency plan did not include procedures to ensure that WPM and PWOPS operating personnel receive annual training to ensure the successful transfer of the generation dispatch functions. (4) PNM failed to provide records demonstrating that WPM staff completed annual training on the transfer of generation dispatch pursuant to the contingency plan.

Finding: The violation was deemed to pose minimal risk to BPS reliability which was mitigated because PNM was able to show that should the WPM control center experience a failure, PWOPS personnel contingency plans included procedures that would ensure the transfer of generation dispatch to PWOPS in order to ensure the reliability of PNM BPS operations. Further, PNM showed that all PWOPS and WPM personnel are NERC-certified, and in the event of a long-term outage, WPM staff would be able to conduct generation dispatch functions from the PWOPS control center. In determining the appropriate penalty, WECC considered PNM's internal compliance program as a mitigating factor and the repeat violation of BAL-004-WECC-01 as an aggravating factor. PNM was only given partial credit for the self-report since it was produced five days prior to the Audit. PNM agreed/stipulated to WECC's findings.

Penalty: $79,000 (aggregate for nine penalties)

FERC Order: Issued October 26, 2012 (no further review)

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

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: In preparation for its registration with NERC as a TOP, in April 2009 CKPD self-reported non-compliance with EOP-008-0 R1. 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-008-0 were new to CKPD because of its TOP registration, and at the time of registration, CKPD did not have a plan to ensure continuous reliable Interconnection operation should its control center fail to operate.

Finding: WECC determined the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the BPS because the violation was related to CKPD not having an established plan with instructions on maintaining Interconnection integrity in the event of a control system failure. Also, BPA was available to assist CKPD in the event its control system failed during the small time period it was developing its own plans and procedures, and CKPD’s facilities are not critical to BPS reliability. 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 violation 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-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

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 SNPD registered as a TOP with NERC, SNPD was in violation of R1 of EOP-008-0 when it was found to have no plan for continuous reliable operations should its control center become inoperable.

Finding: The violation posed no serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability. WECC considered that SNPD was new to the TOP role because of a registration issue. Although SNPD did not have a formal plan in place meeting the EOP-008-0 requirements, actual risk was mitigated by the size of SNPD and the fact that it has no critical facilities as identified by WECC. SNPD’s network is set up to take power from BPA and serves its load. SNPD was coordinating with BPA during the violation period while it completed its documentation to comply with the Standard.

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

FERC Order: Issued April 30, 2012 (no further review)

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

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Moderate

Region: WECC

Issue: PUD No. 1 of Douglas County (DOPD), as a Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator, failed to address voltage control in its Power Operations Contingency Plan and did not provide acceptable documentation of procedures and responsibilities for conducting tests of DOPD's contingency plans.

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 took into consideration the fact that DOPD had a method to control voltage even though it was not documented. Further, even though DOPD did not provide acceptable procedures for conducting periodic tests, they reviewed the contingency plan annually.

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

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

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

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: MRO

Issue: During a compliance audit, MRO discovered that Rochester Public Utilities’ (RPU) Backup Control Center plan did not expressly address monitoring and control of critical facilities and did not list the critical facilities as required by the standard. Duration of violation was June 18, 2007 through July 16, 2010.

Finding: MRO determined that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because RPU’s plan nonetheless provided for staff to be dispatched to substations in the event the SCADA was inoperable and the system operator would go to the control room; moreover, personnel were instructed to use any and all means of communication. 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)

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

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: 1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: SVP, as a TOP, self-certified that it had not developed a contingency plan designed to continue reliable operations in situations where its control center became inoperable.

Finding: WECC found that the EOP-008-0 violation constituted a moderate risk to BPS reliability since SVP’s lack of a contingency plan for the loss of control center functionality would delay the monitoring and operation of its electrical equipment. But, SVP did have a backup control center emergency bag with a cell phone, contact phone lists and other items needed for continuous reliable operation if the control center became inoperable. The duration of the EOP-008-0 violation was from May 27, 2011 through October 10, 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)

Southwest Transmission Cooperative, Inc., Docket No. NP10-79-000 (March 31, 2010)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1.1, R1.2, R1.3, R1.5, R1.7, R1.8

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (R1 has a High Violation Risk Factor, but the relevant subrequirements only have a Medium Violation Risk Factor)

Violation Severity Level: Minimal Risk to Bulk Power System Reliability

Region: WECC

Issue: During an audit in February 2008, WECC discovered a potential violation of Reliability Standard EOP-008-0 based on Southwest Transmission Cooperative, Inc.'s (SWTC) failure to have a contingency plan that meets all the subrequirements of the Reliability Standard. SWTC's contingency plan impermissibly relied on data or voice communications from the primary control facility, did not contain procedures for hourly accounting if the Energy Management System was not available, did not list the critical facilities involved in the staffing stations' monitoring and control, did not incorporate the details for conducting periodic tests to evaluate the viability of the plan, had not undergone a review in the previous two years, and did not discuss situations where it would take more than an hour to implement the plan.

Finding: WECC and SWTC entered into a Settlement Agreement to resolve all outstanding issues related to multiple violations of the Reliability Standards, whereby SWTC agreed to pay a penalty of $44,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. WECC noted that the absence of an adequate contingency plan discussing the loss of SWTC's control center could potentially result in SWTC not being able to monitor and control its transmission facilities. But, WECC found that the violation of Reliability Standard EOP-008-0 did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since SWTC did address in its contingency plan the most critical elements for the continued monitoring and control of its transmission facilities (even though the plan did not detail all of the specific elements mandated by the subrequirements of Reliability Standard EOP-008-0). In assessing the penalty, WECC considered the fact that these violations were SWTC's first assessed violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; SWTC was cooperative during the enforcement process; and SWTC has a positive Internal Compliance Program. SWTC has successfully completed a Mitigation Plan for the violation of Reliability Standard EOP-008-0.

Penalty: $44,000 (an aggregate amount for multiple violations)

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

Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, Docket No. NP12-21, March 30, 2012

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: 1.5, 1.6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SPP

Issue: On March 17, 2009, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation (“Sunflower”) submitted a self-report to SPP stating that it violated R1.5 and R1.6. Specifically, Sunflower’s Loss of Primary Control Center Plan did not include a requirement for conducting periodic tests on at least an annual basis, nor did it provide for annual training of operating personnel. Sunflower also could not produce evidence that it documented the performance of an annual test of the Plan in 2008. During a subsequent compliance audit from March 30, 2009 through April 2, 2009, SPP determined that Sunflower’s Loss of Primary Control Center Plan was also deficient because it did not describe the procedures and responsibilities for conducting the period test of the plan as required by R1.5, or the annual training to ensure that operating personnel are able to implement the contingency plans as required by R1.6.

Finding: SPP determined that the violations posed a minimal risk, but did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the BPS because although documentation of Sunflower’s Loss of Control Center Plan was deficient, it had a formal procedures in place for continuing operations in the event of the loss of its system operations main control center, and Sunflower’s Manager of System Operations attested that appropriate training and testing of the plan occurred. SPP determined that the violations were therefore only documentation issues. SPP found the duration of the violations was from June 18, 2007 to April 8, 2011.

Penalty: $135,000 (aggregate for 16 violations)

FERC Order: Order Issued April 30, 2012 (no further action)

The Detroit Edison Company, FERC Docket No. NP13-5 (October 31, 2012)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: 1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: RFC

Issue: During a March 2011 compliance audit, RFC determined that the Detroit Edison Company (Detroit Edison), as a BA, did not have a contingency plan for its Merchant Operations Center (MOC) that discussed the logging of significant generating events, as required. In addition, Detroit Edison's contingency plan for its System Operations Center (SOC) did not sufficiently specify the details about how the plan would be exercised or about the training required for operating personnel. Detroit Edison also did not annually review the SOC contingency plan as required.

Finding: Detroit Edison admitted the EOP-008-0 R1 violation. RFC found that the EOP-008-0 R1 violation constituted only a minimal risk to BPS reliability since Detroit Edison exercised only limited BA function. In addition, Detroit Edison did have contingency plans in place for its MOC and SOC (even though they did not meet all of the requirements of the Reliability Standard). RFC evaluated parts of Detroit Edison's compliance program as a mitigating factor. Detroit Edison's cooperation was also considered as a mitigating factor.

Penalty: $24,000 (aggregate for 6 violations)

FERC Order: Issued November 29, 2012 (no further review)

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

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In June 2008, TransAlta Centralia Generation (TransAlta) self-reported that it did not have a contingency plan in place to ensure the continued reliable operations in situations where its control center would be inoperable.

Finding: WECC found that this violation 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 relevant procedures were put in place (even though the procedures did not meet all of the requirements of EOP-008-0). In addition, TransAlta would take direction from the Balancing Authority dispatchers, as TransAlta and the Balancing Authority have coordinated their generation and transmission operations. TransAlta and its Balancing Authority also have well established communication protocols. Further, TransAlta had agreed to respond to all instructions given by its Balancing Authority in emergency situations. The violation was self-reported and was 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. NP11-111-000 (February 23, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1/1.5, 1.6, 1.7

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: MRO

Issue: MRO conducted an audit of a Registered Entity in which it determined that the Registered Entity was unable to provide documentation regarding a loss of control center functionality procedure. In addition, MRO found that the Registered Entity, in 2007 and 2008, had not performed the required annual testing, given annual training or conducted a yearly review of its procedures for the loss of control center functionality.

Finding: MRO and the Registered Entity entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby the Registered Entity agreed to pay a penalty of $120,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures to resolve the multiple violations. In terms of the EOP-008-0 violation, MRO found that the violation constituted a moderate risk to bulk power system reliability since the Registered Entity did not, for two consecutive years, test, review or update its plan for the loss of the control center. But, the Registered Entity did actually have a documented plan that would be used in cases where the control center lost functionality. The duration of the EOP-008-0 violation was from January 1, 2008 through June 26, 2009. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC found that these were the Registered Entity's first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; the Registered Entity was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations; the remedies that the Registered Entity adopted in response to the violations were considered a mitigating factor; and there were no additional mitigating or aggravating factors.

Penalty: $120,000 (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-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Following a compliance audit, WECC Enforcement determined Unidentified Registered Entity's (URE) contingency plan for the loss of the primary control facility did not include methods for the maintenance of time and frequency control, was not reviewed annually, and URE did not have a functioning back-up control center with an independent EMS/SCADA at the time of the audit.

Finding: WECC Enforcement determined the violation did not pose a serious or substantial threat to the bulk power system because URE had a contingency plan; it was just deficient per the Requirement. 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. NP12-2 (October 31, 2011)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: WECC

Issue: URE self-reported that, over the course of 2008 and 2009, eight of its power dispatchers had not timely received the required annual training on the implementation of URE’s system restoration contingency plan for when URE’s control center becomes inoperable.

Finding: WECC found that the violation constituted a minimal risk to BPS reliability since the four relevant employees had previously received the relevant training. In addition, copies of the system restoration contingency plan were made available to all of URE’s operators. This was URE’s first violation of the relevant Reliability Standard. WECC evaluated URE’s compliance program as a mitigating factor.

Penalty: $37,000 (aggregate for 4 violations)

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

Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: FRCC

Issue: Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach's ("New Smyrna") contingency plan did not discuss logging of significant events with respect to the loss of control center functionality. Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through October 14, 2008.

Finding: Penalty was deemed appropriate because this was New Smyrna's first violation of this standard, and the violation did not pose a serious or substantial threat to the reliability of the bulk power system because it was a documentation issue.

Penalty: $0

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

WECC RC [Pacific Northwest Security Coordinator] 2010

Reliability Standard: EOP-008-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: NERC as Compliance Enforcement Authority (NCEA)

Issue: Prior to the Reliability Standards becoming mandatory, it was determined that Pacific Northwest Security Coordinator (PNSC) was non-compliant with R1.2 and R1.6. Regarding, R1.2, PNSC's WebSAS RC tool was not robust enough to provide the RC coordinators with all interchange schedules and tags, including dynamic schedules, and regarding R1.6, PNSC did not have a formal training plan for the control center and all reliability coordinators. This violation became a post-June 18, 2007 violation because PNSC did not complete its Mitigation Plan by the approved completion date.

Finding: The violation was the first violation of this Reliability Standard and it did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system. WECC was certified as the Reliability Coordinator on January 1, 2009 and assumed all further responsibilities. The violation was mitigated through the dissolution of the entity and NERC's certification of WECC as the new Reliability Coordinator for the region.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued October 13, 2010 (no further review)