NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard FAC-001-1 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard FAC-001-1

NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard FAC-001-1

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Cleco Corporation, FERC Docket No. NP11-265-000 (August 31, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-1

Requirement: R2.1.4-2.1.11/R2.1.13-2.1.16, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SPP

Issue: During a compliance audit in April 2010, SPP found that Cleco Corporation (Cleco), as a Transmission Owner, had not properly established facility connection requirements for both its generation facilities and its transmission and end-user facilities which provided a written summary of Cleco's plans to achieve the system performance mandated by the Reliability Standard (R2.1.4-2.1.11/R2.1.13-2.1.16). In addition, Cleco did not properly maintain and update its facility connection requirements in order for them to be available upon request by the users of the transmission system, the Regional Reliability Organization, or NERC (R3).

Finding: SPP and Cleco entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby Cleco agreed to pay a penalty of $27,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. SPP found that the FAC-001-1 violations only constituted a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability as they are primarily documentation based. In terms of R2.1.4-2.1.11/R2.1.13-2.1.16, Cleco discussed the Reliability Standard requirements in numerous other documents, including its System Impact Study and Facility Study Process, its General Substation Engineer, Procure, Construct specification, and its Open Access Transmission Tariff. In terms of R3, during the length of the violation, Cleco did not receive any relevant requests for its interconnection requirements. The duration of the FAC-001-1 violations was from June 18, 2007 through August 3, 2010. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC found that these were Cleco's first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; Cleco was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations; Cleco had a compliance program in place (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor); and there were no additional aggravating or mitigating factors or other extenuating circumstances.

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

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

Montana-Dakota Utilities Company, FERC Docket No. NP11-48-000 (November 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-1

Requirement: R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: MRO

Issue: Montana-Dakota Utilities Company ("MDUC") self-reported a violation of FAC-001-1 R2 because its documentation of facility connection requirements for generation facilities, transmission facilities, and end-user facilities did not address all the specific requirements outlined in the Standard.

Finding: NERC determined the risk was minimal and issued a Deficiency Notice of Penalty. Although MDUC's documentation did not meet the technical requirements of FAC-001-1 R2, MDUC did maintain documentation governing the interconnection of generation, transmission, and end-user facilities.

Penalty: $0

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

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

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-1

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: SMUD failed to properly document its connection requirements in sufficient detail with regard to generation, end-user and transmission facilities. For that reason, it also failed to detail the minimum documents such connection requirements must include, and it failed to require the Transmission Owner to update its connection requirements in order to provide current documentation to any interested parties. Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through March 6, 2008.

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

Penalty: $65,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

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