NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard TOP-002-2 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard TOP-002-2

NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard TOP-002-2

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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.

AES Alamitos LLC, Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R14

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: AES Alamitos, as a Generator Operator, self-reported in April 2008 that it had not been notifying its Transmission Operator of changes in its capabilities and characteristics.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since AES Alamitos and its Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator were still engaged in regular communications. In addition, AES Alamitos self-reported the violation; this was AES Alamitos’ first violation of this Reliability Standard; and it instituted a mitigation plan.

Penalty: $0

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

AES Huntington Beach LLC, Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R14

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: AES Huntington Beach, as a Generator Operator, self-reported in May 2008 that it had not been notifying its Transmission Operator of changes in its capabilities and characteristics.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since AES Huntington Beach and its Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator were still engaged in regular communications. In addition, AES Huntington Beach self-reported the violation; this was AES Huntington Beach’s first violation of this Reliability Standard; and it instituted a mitigation plan (even though the plan was completed two weeks late).

Penalty: $0

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

AES Redondo Beach LLC, Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R14

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: AES Redondo Beach, as a Generator Operator, self-reported in April 2008 that it had not been notifying its Transmission Operator of changes in its capabilities and characteristics.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since AES Redondo Beach’s Generating Units were off-line. In addition, AES Redondo Beach self-reported the violation; this was AES Redondo Beach’s first violation of this Reliability Standard; and it completed a mitigation plan.

Penalty: $0

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

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

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: 1, 4, 5, 6, 16, 17

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (1, 4, 5, 6, 19), High (16, 17)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (1, 4, 5, 6, 16, 17, 19)

Region: WECC

Issue: AVBA self-certified, as a TOP, that it did not possess, as required, current plans to evaluate options and to establish procedures for reliable operations through a reasonable future time period (1). AVBA also self-certified that that it had not coordinated its current-day, next-day and seasonal planning and operations with its neighboring Balancing Authorities and TOPs or its Reliability Coordinator (4). In addition, AVBA did not sufficiently plan to meet scheduled system configuration, generation dispatch, interchange scheduling and demand patterns (5) or unscheduled changes in system configuration and generation dispatch (at a minimum N-1 Contingency planning) as required by NERC and WECC (6). AVBA also failed to alert its Reliability Coordinator of changes in its capabilities and characteristics related to its transmission facility status and ratings (16) and did not communicate other required information to its Reliability Coordinator (17). AVBA also had not properly maintained accurate computer models, as required, for analyzing and planning system operations (19).

Finding: WECC found that the TOP-002-2 violations constituted a moderate risk to BPS reliability. In regards to the TOP-002-2 violations, the lack of adequate planning had the potential to negatively impact the operation of AVBA's transmission and generation facilities. But, AVBA only operates one 2.5-mile, 500 kV transmission line, which is not impacted by interconnected system flows and does not affect BPS system conditions as AVBA's only contingency is the loss of the line. In addition, the operating limit of the AVBA's transmission line is always known and the line cannot experience Interconnection Reliability Operating Limits or System Operating Limits. AVBA's Reliability Coordinator and neighboring TOP did not notify AVBA of any reliability concerns during the course of the violations. The duration of the TOP-002-2 violations was from November 5, 2007 through April 30, 2009. AVBA stipulated to the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, the NERC BOTCC considered the fact that these violations were AVBA's first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; the violations were not intentional and were promptly mitigated once discovered; and AVBA was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations. In addition, all but one of AVBA'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)

Benton County Wind Farm, LLC, FERC Docket No. NP10-129-000 (July 6, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: RFC

Issue: In October 2008, Benton County Wind Farm, LLC (Benton Wind), as a Generator Operator, self-certified that it had not coordinated its current-day, next-day, and seasonal operations with Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), its Host Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider. Benton Wind was only releasing data concerning its current-day, next-day, and seasonal operations to its power purchasing parties.

Finding: RFC and Benton Wind entered into a settlement agreement, whereby Benton Wind neither admitted nor denied the violation but agreed to pay a penalty of $2,500 and to undertake other mitigation measures. RFC found that the alleged violation did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since Benton Wind’s total generation capacity is only 130.5 MW and the duration of the alleged violation (when it did not coordinate its current-day, next-day and seasonal operations with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider) was less than three weeks. Furthermore, Benton Wind was a newly registered entity with NERC and did not realize that it was supposed to coordinate with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider. In determining the penalty amount, RFC also considered the fact that this alleged violation was Benton Wind’s first violation of this Reliability Standard; Benton Wind was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not attempt to conceal the violation; Benton Wind had a positive compliance program; and there were no additional mitigating or aggravating factors. A mitigation plan has been completed.

Penalty: $2,500

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

Big Rivers Electric Corporation (BREC), Docket No. NP13-8-000, November 30, 2012

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SERC

Issue: Further to a Compliance Investigation, SERC determined that BREC, as a BA, was in violation of R5 for failing to have adequate resources in its day-ahead plans to meet scheduled system configuration, generation dispatch, interchange scheduling, and demand patterns. In particular, SERC determined that BREC was anticipating a capacity deficit between June 2007 and June 2009 and that although BREC had a minimal reserve share obligation from its membership in the Midwest Contingency Reserve Sharing Group, it had violated R5 by failing to adequately plan to address the capacity deficit.

Finding: SERC determined that the R5 violation posed a moderate risk to the reliability of the BPS because BREC's capacity deficit forced it to rely on the capacity of others in the Midwest Contingency Reserve Sharing Group for its energy requirements. Reserves are critical to the reliability of the BPS and are meant for emergency purposes rather than planned deficits. In this instance, there were sufficient reserves to accommodate BREC's capacity deficit. SERC and BREC entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby BREC agreed to pay a penalty and to undertake other mitigation measures to come into compliance with R5. SERC considered BREC's ICP to be a mitigating factor in making its penalty determination. The duration of the violation was from July 26, 2007 through December 1, 2010. BREC neither admits nor denies the R5 violation.

Penalty: $15,000 (aggregate for 6 violations)

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

Big Rivers Electric Corporation (BREC), Docket No. NP13-8-000, November 30, 2012

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SERC

Issue: Further to a Compliance Investigation, SERC determined that BREC, as a BA, was in violation of R6 for failing to have adequate resources in its day-ahead plans to meet unscheduled system configuration and generation dispatch at a minimum N-1 Contingency planning on specific dates, in accordance with NERC, Regional Reliability Organization, sub-regional, and local reliability requirements. In particular, SERC determined that BREC was anticipating a capacity deficit between June 2007 and June 2009. With BREC unable to meet scheduled system configuration and generation dispatch, it would also have been unable to meet unscheduled system configuration (at a minimum N-1 Contingency planning).

Finding: SERC determined that the R6 violation posed a moderate risk to the reliability of the BPS because BREC's capacity deficit forced it to rely on the capacity of others in the Midwest Contingency Reserve Sharing Group for its energy requirements. Reserves are critical to the reliability of the BPS and are meant for emergency purposes rather than planned deficits. In this instance, there were sufficient reserves to accommodate BREC's capacity deficit. SERC and BREC entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby BREC agreed to pay a penalty and to undertake other mitigation measures to come into compliance with R6. SERC considered BREC's ICP to be a mitigating factor in making its penalty determination. The duration of the violation was from July 26, 2007 through December 1, 2010. BREC neither admits nor denies the R6 violation.

Penalty: $15,000 (aggregate for 6 violations)

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

Big Rivers Electric Corporation (BREC), Docket No. NP13-8-000, November 30, 2012

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R7

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SERC

Issue: Further to a Compliance Investigation, SERC determined that BREC, as a BA, was in violation of R7 for failing to have adequate capacity and energy reserves, including the deliverability/capability for any single Contingency on specific dates. In particular, SERC determined that BREC was anticipating a capacity deficit between June 2007 and June 2009 and that although BREC had a minimal reserve share obligation from its membership in the Midwest Contingency Reserve Sharing Group, it had violated R7 by failing to have capacity and energy reserve requirements, including the deliverability/capability for any single Contingency.

Finding: SERC determined that the R7 violation posed a moderate risk to the reliability of the BPS because BREC's capacity deficit forced it to rely on the capacity of others in the Midwest Contingency Reserve Sharing Group for its energy requirements. Reserves are critical to the reliability of the BPS and are meant for emergency purposes rather than planned deficits. In this instance, there were sufficient reserves to accommodate BREC's capacity deficit. SERC and BREC entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby BREC agreed to pay a penalty and to undertake other mitigation measures to come into compliance with R7. SERC considered BREC's ICP to be a mitigating factor in making its penalty determination. The duration of the violation was from July 26, 2007 through December 1, 2010. BREC neither admits nor denies the R6 violation.

Penalty: $15,000 (aggregate for 6 violations)

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

Blachly-Lane Electric Coop/PNGC, Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3, R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In October 2007, Blachly-Lane Electric Coop/PNGC self-reported that it did not have procedures in place to coordinate with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider its current-day, next-day, and seasonal operations as required by TOP-002-2, R3. In March 2008, Blachly-Lane Electric/PNGC self-reported that it did not possess the documentation needed to demonstrate that it used uniform line identifiers when discussing transmission facilities among a shared interconnect as required by TOP-002-2, R18.

Finding: WECC found that these violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since Blachly-Lane Electric Coop/PNGC was actually coordinating with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider (even though not in the method required by the Reliability Standard). As well, Blachly-Lane Electric Coop/PNGC had historical practices in place for line identification between it and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator. Blachly-Lane Electric/PNGC self-reported the violations and eventually completed a mitigation plan, therefore, no penalty was imposed.

Penalty: $0

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

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

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R1

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, NERC found that CAISO violated TOP-002-2 R1 in failing to fully implement plans and procedures in response to the TL 50001 loss, as CAISO’s responses varied from the procedures in place. This violation also included CAISO’s failure to relieve the resulting SCIT exceedence.

Finding: NERC found that this violation presented a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability, as the event could have been prolonged and increased in scope as a result of CAISO’s failure to follow and correctly implement load shedding procedures. 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)

Calpine Energy Services, FERC Docket No. NP10-43-000 (February 1, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: SERC

Issue: SERC conducted a compliance audit of Calpine Energy Services (CES) between June 9, 2008 and June 12, 2008. TOP-002-2 R3 seeks to ensure that a company has reliable operations plans and procedures in order to be prepared for reliable operations. During the audit, CES could not demonstrate to SERC that it was coordinating its current-day, next-day, and seasonal operations with its host balancing authority.

Finding: SERC found that CES's alleged violations of the different Reliability Standards did not pose a substantial or serious risk to the reliability of the bulk power system since CES was performing the required notifications even if it could not produce evidence of its compliance. In recommending a $20,000 aggregate penalty, SERC considered the following factors: (i) CES had no prior violations of any Reliability Standards; (ii) CES was cooperative during the investigation; (iii) CES agreed to settle the issues; (iv) CES provided responses to all of SERC's data requests; (v) CES has implemented a wide-range of mitigation measures; and (vi) CES had no intent to violate the standards.

Total Penalty: $20,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

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

Camp Grove Wind Farm, LLC, FERC Docket No. NP10-132-000 (July 6, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: RFC

Issue: Camp Grove Wind Farm, as a Generator Operator, failed to coordinate its current-day, next-day, and seasonal operations with its Host Balancing Authority and its Transmission Service Provider.

Finding: The duration of the alleged violation was from October 13, 2008, when Camp Grove Wind Farm was included on the NERC Registry, until November 3, 2008. WECC assessed a penalty of $2,500 for these and other alleged violations. In assessing this penalty, WECC considered these factors: (1) the alleged violation was Camp Grove Wind Farm's first occurrence of non-compliance with this Reliability Standard; (2) Camp Grove Wind Farm's compliance program; (3) Camp Grove Wind Farm cooperated during the compliance enforcement process; (4) there was no attempt to conceal a violation or evidence of intent to do so; (5) the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system; and (6) the lack of other mitigating or aggravating factors or extenuating circumstances.

Penalty: $2,500

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

Central Electric Coop/PNGC, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Central Electric Coop/PNGC (CEC/PNGC) self-reported that it did not possess sufficient documentation to show, except in regards to the Bonneville Power Administration, that it was providing forecasts to its Host Balancing Authorities.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since CEC/PNGC was actually coordinating with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider (even though not in the way mandated by the Reliability Standards). CEC/PNGC self-reported the violation and it was CEC/PNGC's first violation of this standard. Although the violation initially occurred and was reported before the NERC Reliability Standards became mandatory on June 18, 2007, CEC/PNGC had not completed a mitigation plan by that date, therefore the violation resulted in a post-June 18 violation. Even though CEC/PNGC completed its mitigation plan two months late, no penalty was imposed.

Penalty: $0

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

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

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R9

Violation Risk Factor: Lower

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 intend to meet Interchange Schedules and ramps as required.

Finding: FRCC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since the City of Homestead Electric Utilities was still able to match its load profile by using its energy purchases and was able to maintain the thresholds of the CPS1 and CPS2. This was the City of Homestead Electric Utilities' first violation of this Reliability Standard and it completed a mitigation plan.

Total Penalty: $4,000 ($47,000 aggregate for multiple violations)

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

Clearwater Power Company, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2008, Clearwater Power Company (CLPC) self-reported that it did not possess documentation demonstrating that it used uniform line identifiers when discussing transmission facilities among a shared interconnect.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since there were historical practices in place covering line identification between CLPC and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator. WECC determined that this violation was primarily a documentation issue. CLPC also self-reported the violation; this was CLPC’s first violation of this Reliability Standard; and CLPC instituted a mitigation plan.

Penalty: $0

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

Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2008, Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Coos-Curry) self-reported that it did not possess documentation demonstrating that it used uniform line identifiers when discussing transmission facilities among a shared interconnect.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since there were historical practices in place covering line identification between Coos-Curry and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator. WECC determined that this violation was primarily a documentation issue, Coos-Curry self-reported the violation, this was Coos-Curry's first violation of this Reliability Standard, Coos-Curry completed a mitigation plan.

Penalty: $0

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

Dartmouth Power Associates, LP, FERC Docket No. NP11-160-000 (March 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R14

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: NPCC

Issue: NPCC discovered a violation of R14 during a compliance violation investigation because Dartmouth Power Associates, LP (“DPA”) failed to notify its Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator of changes in real output capabilities caused by maintenance to repair a leak and was therefore unable to come online upon request.

Finding: NPCC determined the violation posed a moderate risk, but did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the Bulk Power System because of the low amount of generation that was unable to be dispatched (about 62 MW). The NERC BOTCC considered the following factors: this was DPA’s first violation; DPA was cooperative; DPA’s corporate family had a compliance procedure in place, which NPCC considered a mitigating factor; there was no evidence of any attempt or intent to conceal the violations; and there were no other mitigating or aggravating factors.

Penalty: $35,000 (aggregated for 2 violations)

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

Edgecombe Operating Services, LLC, FERC Docket No. NP09-1-000 (December 12, 2008)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R15

Violation Risk Factor: Lower

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: SERC

Issue: Edgecombe failed to submit its Non-Utility Generator Daily Status Report each day for the three-day weekend of January 18-20, 2008.

Finding: SERC and Edgecombe entered into a settlement agreement in which Edgecombe accepted a penalty of $3,000 for the violation and agreed upon certain mitigation actions. As part of a mitigation plan, Edgecombe revised its reporting procedures in order to prevent further incidents of the violation and held training on those revised procedures. SERC considered Edgecombe's immediate mitigation efforts, the short length of the time that the reports were not submitted, the fact that Edgecombe self-reported the violation and cooperated with the investigation. Plus, Edgecombe had no negative relevant compliance history and completed a mitigation plan, with which SERC did not identify any concerns. In addition, once the violation was discovered, Edgecombe acted quickly to fix the violation and to revise its procedures in order to prevent a recurrence.

Penalty: $3,000

FERC Order: Issued January 9, 2009 (no further review)

Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP11-268-000 (September 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: Texas RE

Issue: On February 26, 2008, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) declared an Emergency Electric Curtailment Plan Step 2 (EECP2) event on its system due to an unexpected imbalance between generation and load, causing a reduction in system frequency to levels that were outside acceptance operational limits. The event lasted two hours, but did not reduce in involuntary customer load shedding. Through an audit, Texas RE determined that ERCOT failed to utilize all available personnel to implement its emergency plan, since its hotline call to declare the emergency event did not reach the Austin Control Center, which was responsible for certain Balancing Authority functions during the emergency, until about ten minutes after the emergency event was declared.

Finding: Texas RE determined that the violation posed a serious and substantial risk to the BPS because it put the Texas grid reliability at unnecessary and avoidable higher levels of risk than would otherwise have been the case, potentially leading to a wide spread and severe system disturbance. Duration of violation was February 26, 2008. Texas RE and the NERC BOTCC took into consideration that this was ERCOT's first violation of the Standard in reaching a penalty assessment, and also concluded that the serious and substantial risk to the BPS constituted an aggravating factor.

Penalty: $384,000 (aggregate for 15 violations)

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

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

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R1, R2, R4, R5, R6, R10, R11, R16, R17, R19

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (R1, R2, R4, R5, R6, R10, R11, R16, R19); High (R17)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (R1, R2, R5, R6, R10, R11, R16, R17. R19); Moderate (R4)

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 TOP-002-2, R1, R2, R4, R5, R6, R10, R11, R16, R17 and R19. R1: EWEB had not kept in place a set of current plans for the purpose of evaluating options and put in place procedures for reliable operation through a “reasonable future time period.” R2: EWEB did not make sure its operating employees participated in the system planning and design study processes in order that the studies have the view of the operating personnel involved and ensure system operating staff knows the planning purpose. R4: EWEB did not coordinate its current day, next day and seasonal planning and operations with adjacent RAs and TOP or with its RC to ensure reliable Interconnection operations. R5: EWEB did not meet scheduled system configuration, generation dispatch, interchange scheduling and demand patterns as required. R6: EWEB did not meet unscheduled changes in system configuration and generation dispatch, as required. R10: EWEB did not meet System Operating Limits and Interconnection Reliability Operating Limits. R11: EWEB did not perform seasonal, next-day and current-day BES studies required to determine System Operating Limits. R16: EWEB did not notify its RC and BA of capabilities and characteristics changes to its facility status and rating. R17: EWEB did not communicate the required information in R1 through R16 to its RC. R19: EWEB did not have accurate computer models for analyzing and planning system operations.

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. Although EWEB did not ensure its operating personnel were involved in the system planning and design study processes, those processes are generally long-term activities that take place annually. Risk to the BPS was mitigated as well because EWEB’s facility is a 115 kV local network that has no critical facilities as listed on WECC’s critical facilities list. EWEB’s network is set up to take power from BPA and serves its load. WECC further found that EWEB staff was sufficiently experienced and knowledgeable and had received training on system reliability during the period EWEB was establishing processes as required by the Standard. WECC considered that even though EWEB had not coordinated its current day, next day and seasonal planning and operations with the adjacent BAs and TOP and with its RC, those activities are generally done on a long-term or annual basis, and BPA had plans in place to make sure normal interconnection operations were undisturbed while EWEB completed its documentation to be compliant with the TOP-002-2 Standards. 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

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

ExxonMobil Oil Corporation – Beaumont Refinery, FERC Docket No. NP10-90-000 (March 31, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: SERC

Issue: ExxonMobil Oil Corporation – Beaumont Refinery (ExxonMobil) failed to coordinate its current-day and next-day operations with its Host Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider.

Finding: The alleged violation occurred from December 27, 2008, the first date for which ExxonMobil failed to provide information about the unit's availability, until January 22, 2009, when ExxonMobil finished a mitigation plan. SERC and ExxonMobil entered a settlement agreement regarding the alleged violation and agreed to a $10,000 penalty (aggregate with violations of IRO-004-1 and PRC-005-1). In assessing the penalty, SERC considered: (1) the alleged violation was self-reported; (2) ExxonMobil had no previous violations of the NERC Reliability Standards; (3) ExxonMobil cooperated during the compliance enforcement process; (4) no attempt to conceal a violation or evidence of intent to do so was found; (5) ExxonMobil maintained an effective compliance program and culture; and (6) the alleged violation did not create a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system.

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

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

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

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R4, R11, R14, R17

Violation Risk Factor: Medium for all but R17 which is High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Farmington Electric Utility System (FEUS) did not coordinate its planning and operations with neighboring entities as required by the standard and that it was not running daily operating studies to determine system operating limits, and consequently was not providing this information to neighboring entities. Auditors also determined that FEUS was not notifying its Balancing Authority of changes in the real output capabilities of its generators and FEUS could provide no evidence that it provided required information to the Reliability Coordinator. Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through December 15, 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)

Fall River Rural Electric/PNGC, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2008, Fall River Rural Electric/PNGC (FRRE) self-reported that it did not possess documentation demonstrating that it used uniform line identifiers when referring to transmission facilities among a shared interconnection.

Finding: WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices in place between FRRE and its Transmission Service Provider and its Transmission Operator concerning line identification. This violation was self-reported; it was primarily a documentation issue; and this was FRRE's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Even though FRRE completed a mitigation plan over five months late, WECC decided not to impose a penalty.

Penalty: $0

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

Indianapolis Power & Light Company, FERC Docket No. NP11-210-000 (June 29, 2011)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R6, R11

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (for R6, R11)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (R6), High (R11)

Region: RFC

Issue: During a compliance audit in March 2010, RFC found that Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), as a Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator, did not possess adequate documentation regarding its plan to respond to unscheduled changes in system configuration and generation dispatch (R6). RFC also found that IPL, as a Transmission Operator, did not have adequate documentation showing that it conducts the required next-day and current-day Bulk Electric System studies in order to calculate System Operating Limits (R11).

Finding: RFC and IPL entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby IPL agreed to pay a penalty of $70,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. RFC found that the TOP-002-2 violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability. Regarding R6, MISO is responsible for the relevant tasks covered by this Reliability Standard, with IPL monitoring and verifying MISO’s activities. In addition, although it lacked the proper documentation, IPL, through its current operations and procedures, would be able to respond to unplanned events. Regarding R11, IPL was actually conducting the required studies, but was not archiving them properly. MISO also provided the needed studies. The duration of both TOP-002-2 violations was from June 18, 2007 through February 22, 2010. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC found that these were IPL’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; IPL was cooperative during the enforcement proceeding and did not conceal the violations; there was a compliance program in place (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor); and there were no additional aggravating or mitigating factors.

Penalty: $70,000 (aggregate for 11 violations)

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

Indianapolis Power & Light Company, FERC Docket No. NP14-7 (November 27, 2013)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: 11

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: RFC

Issue: During a February 2013 compliance audit, RFC determined that Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) did not perform the required next-day and current-day Bulk Electric System studies to determine System Operating Limits (SOLs) in a consistent manner. IPL’s contingency analysis program was not properly configured to perform the required current-day and next-day studies. In addition, IPL did not demonstrate that it had reviewed next-day and current-day studies performed by MISO for applicability to its operations.

Finding: RFC found that the violation constituted a moderate risk to BPS reliability since without adequate next-day and current-day studies, operators may not be sufficiently prepared to take the needed actions to ensure BPS reliability. For example, if there are no prompt notifications of changes in output capabilities to the Balancing Authority and TOP, there may be disruptions to normal operations. But, as a mitigating factor, IPL did have procedures in place to perform current-day and next-day studies. The TOP-002-2 R11 violation started on June 18, 2007 and is ongoing. IPL admitted the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC BOTCC considered the fact that IPL had a repeat violation of TOP-002-2 R11 and that issues with next-day planning were a contributing cause to the September 8, 2011 outage in the Pacific Southwest. But, as mitigating factors, IPL did have a compliance program in place, spent significant amounts of money and human resources under its TOP-002-2 R11 mitigation plan and voluntarily added eight phasor measurement units, which improved the reliability of its system. IPL also did not conceal the violations.

Total Penalty: $30,000 (aggregate for 2 violations)

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

Inland Power and Light Company, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3, R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, Inland Power and Light Company (IPLC) self-reported that it was not coordinating its current-day, next-day and seasonal operations with its Host Balancing Authority and its Transmission Service Provider, as required by Reliability Standard TOP-002-2 R3. IPLC also self-reported that it was not using uniform line identifiers when referring to transmission facilities of an interconnected network, as the designators used on IPLC's 115 kV devices were not consistent with the Transmission Operator and Transmission Service Provider designations, in violation of Reliability Standard TOP-002-2 R18.

Finding: WECC found that the violation of R3 did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since IPLC was actually coordinating with its Balancing Authority and its Transmission Service Provider (although not in the methods required by the Reliability Standard). In addition, for R18, there was no serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices in place between IPLC and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator concerning line identification. The violations were self-reported and these were IPLC's first violations of this Reliability Standard. Although the violations occurred before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, IPLC did not timely complete its Mitigation Plans, turning the violations into post-June 18, 2007 violations, however, WECC determined no penalty was appropriate.

Penalty: $0

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

KCPL – Greater Missouri Operations, FERC Docket No. NP12-15 (February 29, 2012)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R11

Violation Risk Factor: Medium Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SPP

Issue: On June 17, 2009 at 9:54 am, KCPL – Greater Missouri Operations (“KCPL-GMO”) suffered a transmission system outage that caused all of KCPL-GMO’s customers in the greater St. Joseph area to lose service. KCPL-GMO lost 84 MW of generating capacity and 258 MW of firm load (which represents approximately 48,000 customers), with power being restored to KCPL-GMO customers by 11:22 am that day and the relevant generator returning to service at 12:54 pm that day. KCPL-GMO’s transmission system outage was limited to the St. Joseph, Missouri area and did not impact any other transmission system. During a compliance audit related to the outage, SPP found that KCPL-GMO’s seven-day operational study performed on June 11, 2009 (to support the proposed maintenance outage of the St. Joseph-Cook transmission line) was done incorrectly. Therefore, KCPL-GMO did not conduct an accurate next-day or current-day outage analysis as mandated.

Finding: SPP found that KCPL-GMO’s violations constituted a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability. In regards to TOP-002-1, the lack of an accurate next-day or current-day study posed a serious and substantial risk to the 161 kV BPS that served the St. Joseph load pocket. SPP determined that if KCPL-GMO had conducted current-day and next-day studies, it would have known about potential problems (and the operator may have cancelled the planned outage). The duration of the TOP-002-1 violation was from June 17, 2009 through June 1, 2010. In approving the penalty amount, NERC BOTCC evaluated the fact that the violations resulted in a loss of load (which increased the severity of the relevant violations); these were the first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; KCPL-GMO cooperated during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations; and KCPL-GMO had an internal compliance program in place (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor). KCPL-GMO also implemented additional voluntary actions in order to prevent future violations.

Penalty: $400,000 (aggregate for 7 violations)

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

Kootenai Electric Cooperative Inc., FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, Kootenai Electric Cooperative Inc. (Kootenai) self-reported that the designators it used on its 115 kV devices were not consistent with the Transmission Operator and Transmission Service Provider designations.

Finding: WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices in place between Kootenai and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator concerning line identification. The violation was self-reported and it was Kootenai's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Even though the violation occurred before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, Kootenai did not timely complete a mitigation plan, turning the violation into a post-June 18, 2007 violation, however, WECC determined no penalty was appropriate.

Penalty: $0

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

Lane Electric Cooperative, Inc./PNGC, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2008, Lane Electric Cooperative, Inc./PNGC (Lane Electric) self-reported that it did not possess the documentation demonstrating that it used uniform line identifiers to refer to transmission facilities among a shared interconnect.

Finding: WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices in place between Lane Electric and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator concerning line identification. The violation was self-reported and this was Lane Electric's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Even though Lane Electric completed a mitigation pan two months late, WECC decided not to impose any penalty.

Penalty: $0

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

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

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R1, R2, R4, R17

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (R1, R2, R4), High (R17)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (R1, R2, R4, R17)

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2009, Mesquite Power LLC (Mesquite), as a TOP, self-certified that its operations planning processes and procedures did not specifically address planning as a TOP. Therefore, Mesquite had not maintained a set of current plans in order to evaluate operations and to establish procedures for reliable operations through a reasonable future time period as a TOP, as required (R1). Mesquite was also unable to verify that its operating personnel, in their role as a TOP, were part of the system planning and design study processes (R2). In addition, Mesquite was not directly coordinating its current-day, next-day and seasonal planning and operations with the RC, as required. Instead, Mesquite was coordinating its transmission facilities with its BA, who would then communicate and coordinate with the RC (R4, R17).

Finding: WECC found that the TOP-002-2 violations only constituted a minimal risk to BPS reliability. For TOP-002-2 R1 and R2, Mesquite had incorporated its transmission facilities into the operations planning processes and procedures that it used for its generation facilities. For TOP-002-2 R4 and R17, the area around Mesquite’s facilities is coordinated by other BAs and TOPs in the areas, so all of the needed coordination effectively occurred. The duration of the TOP-002-2 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)

Missoula Electric Cooperative, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3, R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (for both R3 and R18)

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In June 2007, Missoula Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Missoula) self-reported, for R3, that while it was generally coordinating with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider, it was not coordinating its current-day, next-day and seasonal operations with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider. In addition, Missoula self-reported, for R18, that it had not confirmed that all of its line identifiers were the same as the identifiers used by its Transmission Service Provider or Transmission Operator.

Finding: WECC found that the violation of R3 did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since Missoula was actually coordinating with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider (even though not by the methods mandated in the Reliability Standard). For R18, WECC also found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices in place between Missoula and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator concerning line identification. The violations were self-reported and they were Missoula's first violations of this Reliability Standard. A mitigation plan was completed.

Penalty: $0

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

Modern Electric Water Company, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In April 2009, it was determined that Modern Electric Water Company (MEWC) had not been documenting the uniform line identifiers it used to refer to transmission facilities of an interconnected network.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices in place between MEWC and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator concerning line identification. This was MEWC's first violation of this Reliability Standard. A mitigation plan was completed.

Penalty: $0

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

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

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Modesto Irrigation District (MID) failed to provide neighboring Balancing Authorities, Transmission Operators, and Transmission Service Providers a list of uniform line identifiers.

Finding: The alleged violations occurred from June 18, 2007, when the Standard became enforceable, until April 9, 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)

NAES Corporation – Tracy, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3, R13, R14, R15, R18

Violation Risk Factor: R3, R13, R14, R18 – Medium, R15 – Lower

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, NAES Corporation – Tracy (NAES) self-reported that it did not implement procedures, according to R3, to identify the proper reporting requirements (such as the coordination of its current-day, next-day, and seasonal operations with its Host Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider). NAES also self-reported, in relation to R13, that as it was not generating real and reactive capability verifications, it was not conveying the results to its Balancing Authority or Transmission Operator operating personnel. In addition, NAES notified WECC that it did not have in place a procedure to notify its Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator of changes in capabilities and characteristics (such as changes in real output capabilities) as required by R14. Furthermore, NAES had not provided a forecast of expected real power output to its Balancing Authority or Transmission Operator to help in operations planning as required by R15 and had not used uniform line identifiers to refer to transmission facilities of an interconnected network as required by R18.

Finding: For R3, WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since NAES was actually coordinating with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider (even though not by the methods mandated by the Reliability Standard). For R13 and R15, WECC found that the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since NAES's Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator had not requested the relevant information. For R14, WECC determined that there was no serious or substantial risk since NAES was in regular communications with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator. For R18, WECC also determined that was no serious or substantial risk since there were historical practices in place between NAES and its Transmission Service Provider and its Transmission Operator concerning line identification. The violations were self-reported and they were NAES's first violations of this Reliability Standard. Even though the violations occurred before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, NAES did not timely complete a mitigation plan, turning the violations into post-June 18, 2007 violations, however, WECC determined no penalty was appropriate.

Penalty: $0

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

NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, Docket No. NP10-72-000 (March 31, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R14

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: TRE

Issue: NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (FPLE) failed to notify ERCOT's Independent System Operator (ERCOT ISO) of a change in status of three of FPLE's generating units.

Finding: TRE and FPLE entered into a settlement agreement to resolve all outstanding issues related to the alleged violation, whereby FPLE neither admitted nor denied the alleged violation but agreed to pay a penalty of $10,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. TRE found that the alleged violation did not create a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since the MW impact only ranged from 285 MW to 570 MW and ERCOT's deployment of Non-Spin reserves was able to correct the Step 1 system event. In assessing the violation, TRE considered the fact that the system was stressed at the time of the alleged violation, but that the alleged violation was self-reported; this was FPLE's first violation of this Reliability Standard in the TRE footprint; there was no attempt to conceal the alleged violation; and FPLE has a culture of compliance. FPLE has successfully completed a mitigation plan.

Penalty: $10,000

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

Northern Lights/PNGC, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2008, Northern Lights/PNGC (NL/PNGC) self-reported that it did not possess documentation demonstrating that it used uniform line identifiers to refer to transmission facilities among a shared interconnect.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices between NL/PNGC and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator concerning line identification. The violation was self-reported; it was primarily a documentation issue; and this was NL/PNGC's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Even though NL/PNGC completed a mitigation plan over five months late, WECC decided not to impose any penalty.

Penalty: $0

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

Oregon Trail Electric Consumers Cooperative, FERC Docket NP10-105-000 (April 28, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3, R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Oregon Trail Electric Consumers Cooperative (OTEC) self-reported a violation of TOP-002-2 because it did not have a formal delegation agreement in place with neighboring entities prior to June 18, 2007 for (1) the coordination of OTEC’s current-day, next-day and seasonal operations with its Host Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider and (2) the assignment and use of uniform line identifiers in reference to transmission facilities on its interconnected network. Moreover, OTEC could not provide evidence that it was using the required uniform line identifiers when referring to its transmission facilities, and it was not coordinating its operations with its Host Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider. OTEC proposed a mitigation plan for this violation but requested numerous extensions of the deadline for completing its mitigation plan, the last of which was denied by WECC. Because OTEC did not complete its mitigation plan by the required deadline, as extended, the violation became a “post-June 18 violation.”

Finding: Duration of the violations was from June 18, 2007, the date the standard became enforceable, through March 19, 2009, when OTEC completed a mitigation plan. The violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because the data reporting requirements of the standard were being handled by others on behalf of OTEC despite the lack of a formal agreement, and OTEC was using uniform line identifiers for its transmission facilities (even if it could not produce evidence of such). These violations were also OTEC’s first violations of this standard.

Penalty: $8,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued May 28, 2010 (no further review)

Overton Power District #5, FERC Docket No. NP10-41-000 (February 1, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Overton Power District #5 (Overton) could not provide sufficient evidence that a uniform line identifier was being used when referring to transmission facilities of an interconnected network.

Finding: Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 when standards became enforceable through September 9, 2008. Penalty was determined appropriate because this was Overton's first violation of this standard, and while violation of PRC-005-1 was deemed to be a severe risk to bulk power system reliability, the other violations posed a low risk to bulk power system reliability.

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

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

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

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R1, R2, R4, R5, R6

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

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 TOP-002-2 R1, R2, R4, R5 and R6. 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 TOP-002-2 were new to CKPD because of its TOP registration, and at the time of registration had the following violations. R1: CKPD did not have plans in place to ensure continued reliable operation of its interconnected system and that would evaluate options and establish procedures for reliable operations. R2: CKPD did not make sure that its operating personnel were involved in the development of system planning and design study processes in order that the studies included operating personnel perspective and to ensure system operators knew of the planning purpose, as required. R4: CKPD did not coordinate its current-day, next-day, and seasonal planning and operations when possible with adjacent BAs and TOPs and its RC to ensure regular Interconnection operation is orderly and consistent. R5: CKPD did not plan to meet scheduled system configuration, generation dispatch, interchange scheduling and demand patterns. R6: CKPD did not meet unscheduled changes in system configuration and generation dispatch (at least N-1 Contingency planning) pursuant to the requirements of NERC, Regional Reliability Organization, subregional, and local reliability requirements.

Finding: WECC determined the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the BPS for the following reasons. Several of the violations were documentation related and while CKPD was developing all of the plans required by the Reliability Standard, BPA had the required plans in place, and if needed they were available to CKPD. In addition, BPA would have assisted to maintain BPS operations and CKPD’s facilities are not critical to BPS reliability. WECC recognized that 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: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R2, R5

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (R2, R5)

Violation Severity Level: Moderate (R2); Lower (R5)

Region: WECC

Issue: SNPD registered as a TOP with NERC effective as of February 6, 2009, 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 TOP-002-2 R2 and R5. R2: SNPD did not make sure its operating employees participated in the system planning and design study processes in order that the studies have the view of the operating personnel involved and ensure system operating staff knows the planning purpose. R5: SNPD did not meet scheduled system configuration, generation dispatch, interchange scheduling and demand patterns as required.

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 ensure its operating personnel were involved in the system planning and design study processes, those processes are generally long-term activities that take place annually. 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

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: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: PUD No. 1 of Douglas County (DOPD), as a Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator, failed to maintain a set of current plans designed to evaluate options and set procedures for reliable operation through a reasonable future time period.

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 found that the alleged violation did not create a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because, even though DOPD did not have a documented set of plans to evaluate options, DOPD conducted weekly operations reviews of system conditions and notified its system operator of any abnormal conditions. Further, Hourly Coordination meetings were conducted weekly by DOPD to ensure interconnected system reliability.

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

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

Raft River Rural Electric Coop/PNGC, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2008, Raft River Rural Electric Coop/PNGC (RRRE) self-reported that it did not possess documentation demonstrating that it used uniform line identifiers to refer to transmission facilities among a shared interconnect.

Finding: WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices between RRRE and its Transmission Service Provider and its Transmission Operator concerning line identification. The violation was self-reported and this was RRRE's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Even though RRRE completed a mitigation plan over five months late, WECC decided not to impose any penalty.

Penalty: $0

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

Sacramento Municipal Utility District, FERC Docket NP10-106-000 (May 3, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R16

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) self-reported that it had failed to notify its Reliability Coordinator of an outage that resulted from a line opening during scheduled relay testing on December 2, 2008.

Finding: Duration of violation was from December 2, 2008 through December 18, 2008 when SMUD completed a mitigation plan. The violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because SMUD had scheduled the relay tests in advance, so the Reliability Coordinator was aware of the outage on the line and no flow was scheduled on the line at the time. In addition, this was SMUD’s first violation of this standard.

Penalty: $9,900 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued May 28, 2010 (no further review)

Salmon River Electric Coop./PNGC, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, Salmon River Electric Coop./PNGC (SREC) self-reported that it did not possess the documentation showing that it was providing forecasts to the Host Balancing Authorities, except Bonneville Power Administration.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since SREC was actually coordinating with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider (even though not in the methods mandated by the Reliability Standard). The violation was self-reported and this was SREC's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Even though the violation occurred before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, SREC did not timely complete a mitigation plan, turning the violation into a post-June 18, 2007 violation; however, WECC determined no penalty was appropriate.

Penalty: $0

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

Salmon River Electric Coop./PNGC, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2008, Salmon River Electric Coop./PNGC (SREC) self-reported that it did not have documentation demonstrating that it used uniform line identifiers for transmission facilities among a shared interconnect.

Finding: WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices in place between SREC and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator concerning line identification. This violation was self-reported; it was primarily a documentation issue; and this was SREC's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Even though SREC completed a mitigation plan over five months late, WECC decided not to impose any penalty.

Penalty: $0

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

Umatilla Electric Cooperative Association, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, Umatilla Electric Cooperative Association (Umatilla) self-reported that it did not possess documentation showing that it was providing forecasts to its Host Balancing Authorities except Bonneville Power Administration.

Finding: WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since Umatilla was coordinating with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider (even though not by the methods required by the Reliability Standard). The violation was self-reported and this was Umatilla's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Even though the violation occurred before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, Umatilla did not timely complete a mitigation plan, which turned the violation into a post-June 18, 2007 violation, however, WECC determined no penalty was appropriate.

Penalty: $0

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

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

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R4, R11, R17

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (R4, R11), High (R17)

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Following a compliance audit, WECC Enforcement determined URE failed to demonstrate that it shared its seasonal planning information with its adjacent Balancing Authorities, Transmission Operators or Reliability Coordinator in violation of R4, and URE did not produce evidence that it shared its study results with neighboring entities in order to confirm they were using the same IROL and SOL values and did not share current-day or next-day studies with neighboring entities in violation of R11. Consequently, URE had a violation of R17 because it could not demonstrate compliance with R4 and R11.

Finding: WECC Enforcement determined the violation of R4 did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because URE’s generation and load patterns are relatively stable and did not have a significant impact on interconnection. Therefore, URE would not have a significant effect on seasonal planning. The violation of R11 had a moderate risk because URE did not share seasonal studies with the Reliability Coordinator and did not share seasonal studies or current-day or next-day studies with neighboring entities. The URE’s planned outages of bulk power system elements could impact SOLs, and URE has a number of common facilities that make the SOLs important. The violation of R17 did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because URE communicated information to adjacent Balancing Authorities and Transmission Operators, which was more important than communicating all the information specified in R17 to the Reliability Coordinator. 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. NP11-137-000 (March 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: URE self-reported that it failed to maintain a set of current plans for maintaining system reliability including an assessment of current conditions and options for contingencies in violation of R1. It also did not maintain a set of current plans designed to evaluate options and set procedures for reliable operation through a reasonable future time period in violation of R1. URE self-reported the violation prior to the date the Standard became enforceable, but the violation became enforceable because URE failed to submit an acceptable mitigation plan by the deadline. Duration of the violation was June 18, 2007, when the Standard became enforceable, through June 9, 2008, when the violations were mitigated.

Finding: WECC Enforcement determined that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system based on circumstances as pre-to-post June 18, 2007 violation. Further, the NERC BOTCC concluded the penalty appropriate because this was URE’s first violation of most of the Standards involved, URE self-reported 28 of 30 violations, and URE was cooperative during the investigation.

Penalty: $106,000 (aggregate for 30 violations)

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

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP12-11 (January 31, 2011)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R19

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: URE self-reported (as well as self-certified) that its operational planning computer models were inaccurate (as they were based on inaccurate Facility Ratings that were not consistent with URE’s Facility Ratings Methodology).

Finding: WECC found that the TOP-002-2 violation constituted a moderate risk to the BPS as URE was using Facility Ratings in its operations that were different than the Facility Ratings that would have been generated by the Facility Ratings Methodology. As a result, URE’s computer models for system forecasting produced inaccurate information, which caused a risk that URE’s equipment would not function as predicted in the computer models. But, URE was following industry standards and practices in rating its facilities, and its system had successfully functioned for numerous years using the previous Facility Ratings. In determining the penalty amount, the NERC BOTCC evaluated URE’s violation history; some of the violations were self-reported; URE was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations; URE has a compliance program in place (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor); the violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability; and there were no additional aggravating or mitigating factors.

Penalty: $135,000 (aggregate for 20 violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 1, 2012 (no further review)

USACE – Little Rock District, FERC Docket No. NP11-19-000 (November 5, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: SPP

Issue: In March 2008, USACE – Little Rock (USACE-LR) self-certified that it did not know if it was using uniform line identifiers, as required, when communicating with the Southwest Power Administration (SWPA), its Transmission Operator and Balancing Authority.

Finding: SPP found that this violation did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since SWPA, USACE-LR’s Transmission Provider, coordinates the sale and delivery of USACE-LR’s power. Therefore, USACE-LR’s used the same line identifiers as SWPA, even though USACE-LR did not have a formal procedure in place regarding having its operators use consistent line identifiers. The duration of the violation was from July 10, 2007 through June 24, 2009. In deciding not to impose a penalty for multiple violations, SPP considered the fact that the violations represented USACE-LR’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; the violations were caused by USACE-LR not having formal procedures and policies in place; and USACE-LR did not attempt to conceal the violations. In addition, the violations were self-certified.

Penalty: $0

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

USACE–Portland District, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3, R13, R14, R15, R18

Violation Risk Factor: R3, R13, R14, R18 – Medium, R15 – Lower

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In June 2008, USACE-Portland District self-certified that while it was providing its Balancing Authority (another federal government agency) with its current-day, next-day and seasonal operations, the results of its generating real and reactive capability verification, changes in its capabilities and characteristics, and a forecast of expected real power output in order to assist in operations planning, it had not been also providing the information to the appropriate parties in the Interconnection as required by R3, R13, R14 and R15, respectively. In addition, USACE-Portland District self-reported that it was not using uniform line identifiers to refer to the transmission facilities of an interconnected network.

Finding: WECC found that the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since USACE-Portland District was actually coordinating with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider (even though not by the methods required by R3); the Balancing Authority and the Transmission Operator had not requested the relevant information (R13 and R15); and USACE-Portland District, as the Generator Operator, was engaged in regular communications with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator (R14). In addition, the violation of R18 did not pose a serious or substantial risk since there were historical practices in place between USACE-Portland District and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator concerning line identification. These violations were USACE-Portland District's first violations of this Reliability Standard. Even though USACE-Portland District completed a mitigation plan over one month late, WECC decided not to impose any penalty.

Penalty: $0

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

USACE-Seattle District, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R14

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In July 2008, USACE-Seattle District self-certified that it had not timely notified its Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator of changes in its capabilities and characteristics.

Finding: WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since USACE-Seattle District was engaged in regular communications with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Operator (even though not by the methods required by the Reliability Standard). The violation was primarily a documentation issue and this was USACE-Seattle District's first violation of this Reliability Standard. A mitigation plan was completed.

Penalty: $0

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

USACE – Tulsa District, FERC Docket No. NP10-160-000 (September 13, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: SPP

Issue: TOP-002-2, R18 requires entities to use uniform line identifiers when referring to transmission facilities of an interconnected network. USACE-Tulsa self-certified that it was not compliant with this requirement as it did not have a policy in place identifying the uniform line identifiers for the USACE equipment and requiring its operators to utilize uniform line identifiers.

Finding: The violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk electric system, as determined by SPP, because USACE-Tulsa was utilizing consistent line identifiers in its communications with its Transmission Operator despite not having a procedure in place identifying the uniform line identifiers or requiring its operators to use them. Additional factors for the determination of no penalty amount included that that the violation was a documentation issue and was USACE-Tulsa’s first violation of this Reliability Standard.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued December 16, 2010, 133 FERC ¶ 61,214 (2010), reh'g denied 137, FERC ¶ 61,044 (2010)

USACE-Walla Walla District, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In July 2008, USACE-Walla Walla District self-certified that while it was providing bulk electric system operating planning information to its Balancing Authority, it had not provided that information to the appropriate parties in the Interconnection as required.

Finding: WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since USACE-Walla Walla District was actually coordinating with its Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider (even though not in the methods required by the Reliability Standard). This was USACE-Walla Walla District's first violation of this Reliability Standard. Even though USACE-Walla Walla District completed a mitigation plan two weeks late, WECC decided not to impose any penalty.

Penalty: $0

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

Vigilante Electric Cooperative, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TOP-002-2

Requirement: R18

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In April 2008, Vigilante Electric Cooperative, Inc. (VIEC) self-certified that it was not using uniform line identifiers to refer to transmission facilities of an interconnected network.

Finding: WECC found that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since there were historical practices in place between VIEC and its Transmission Service Provider and Transmission Operator concerning line identification. This was VIEC's first violation of this Reliability Standard. A mitigation plan was completed.

Penalty: $0

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